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Tigers top Bulldogs for PAC-7 win

Stephanie King

PAC-7 volleyball action came to Randleman Tuesday as the Tigers hosted the Trinity Bulldogs. Randleman entered the game 3-1 in conference play and 8-3 overall on the season, while Trinity was 2-1 in conference play and 11-2 overall.

Randleman got off to a quick start as they built a 3-1 lead over the Bulldogs. A tip from Ceci Carter gave the Tigers their first lead of the night. Trinity quickly tied the set at 3-3 with a kill from Gracie Ballard. The Tigers surged back in front as they took a commanding 13-7 lead over the Bulldogs. A serving error on the Tigers allowed the Bulldogs to cut into the lead. Chloe Hildreth go the point back for the Tigers with a kill to give them a 14-8 lead. Randleman remained in control as they pushed their lead to ten. Trinity tried to rally, but the lead was just too much to overcome. A kill from Katherine Ann Petty sealed the win for the Tigers as they took the set 25-15.

The Tigers took the first point of the second set, but it would be the Bulldogs who jumped out to the early lead. Trinity took a 5-1 lead and would remain in control the rest of the set. Randleman kept things close and cut into the lead on several occasions. The Bulldogs took their biggest lead at 17-10. A tip from Carter cut the lead to five for the Tigers, but Trinity just pushed the lead back out. Trinity seemed to be cruising to a win until the Tigers rallied late to put pressure on the Bulldogs. Randleman scored three unanswered points to cut the lead down to three at 21-24. Unfortunately, a serving error on the Tigers would give Trinity the match point and the win 25-21.

The third set of play would be a close one early on as the teams stayed within a couple points of each other. Randleman got the first point of the set and eventually built a small 3-1 lead thanks to a tip from Carter. Trinity went on to tie the set at 4-4 and then again at 5-5 before taking their first lead of the set at 6-5. Randleman tied the set twice before the Bulldogs began to pull away. Two blocks and a kill from Nyah Powers led the Bulldogs to 14-9 lead midway through the set.  Trinity’s largest lead came at 16-9. Randleman responded with an 8-1 run to tie the set at 17 all before taking an 18-17 lead. Ballard took over the serving duties for the Bulldogs and led them to a 23-18 lead. Randleman would not go away quietly as they rallied to cut the lead to three at 20-23. Trinity scored the final two points of the set and capped the 25-20 win off with a kill from Powers.

Randleman had their backs against the wall as the fourth set of play got underway. They need a win here to force a deciding fifth set and that is exactly what they did. The Tigers rebounded for a 25-20 win in the fourth set to set up a fifth set showdown against the Bulldogs. With the match tied at two sets apiece, the Tigers battled for a 15-11 win in the fifth set. Randleman won the match 3 sets to 2.

Randleman:

Ceci Carter – 21 kills, five aces, two blocks, nine digs
Chloe Hildreth – 29 digs, 10 kills
Aubrey Maness – 40 digs, one ace, one kill
Karley Hughes – 31 assists, 13 digs, two kills, one ace, one kill, one block

Trinity:

Nyah Powers – 16 kills, four blocks, one ace, three digs
Gracie Ballard – 16 kills, eight digs, one ace
Sydney Skeen – 41 assists, eight digs, one kill
Maddie Stevens – 12 kills

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