10/19/05 — Unbeaten, top-seeded Bruins ousts Saints

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Unbeaten, top-seeded Bruins ousts Saints

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 19, 2005 2:16 PM

WILSON -- David may not have slain Goliath on Tuesday in the semifinals of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament as top-seeded and unbeaten Wilson Beddingfield turned in a 25-5, 25-12, 25-17 sweep of No. 5 Southern Wayne on its home floor.

But the junior-heavy Saints, a five-set winner on Monday over Charles B. Aycock, posted stretches of respectable play that left first-year coach Sally Combs with a sense of optimism for next season.

After falling behind early and seeing the Bruins (22-0) pull away easily in the first set, the Saints stayed within striking distance until the middle stages of the final two sets.

"We played a powerhouse tonight. Hopefully they (Beddingfield) will go far, because it does wonders for our conference. At the same time, we have to play at that level. That's the next step.

"We battled hard last night against Aycock, but tonight we got better. This game is all about getting better."

Beddingfield's trio of hitters, October Harris, Barbara DeRatt and Jean Best and the consistent setting of Ashley Davis proved too much for the Saints, but Charlie Garten, Lindsay Pearsall and Bridget Parvin never shied away from hitting or blocking against their formidable opponents.

Southern Wayne trailed just 15-12 in the second after a tip by the Saints' lone senior Katie Westfall, who played in her final volleyball game for the blue and red.

From there, DeRatt took serve at 16-12 and served on nine-straight points as Beddingfield again pulled away. During that stretch, Harris had three kills and one block at the net.

In the third set, Best served on seven points in a row to make it 9-3, before the visitors regrouped to eventually cut it to five at 14-9 after a Bruin serve sailed deep. Beddingfield re-stretched its margin during the late stages and led by as much as nine at 22-13.

Southern Wayne's Bridget Parvin had two more aces in the final stretch of the third, but it was not enough as the Bruins took the final set 25-18 after a kill by Davis.

"I'm very proud of this team, but we've got a long way to go," Combs said. "I've got eight possible seniors for next year's team, and I'm excited."

Beddingfield controlled the first set.

Kelly Minshew and Lindsey DeRatt had service runs of seven and nine points, respectively, with DeRatt's coming on the final nine points. Much like the third, Harris posted a big finish to the opening set with five kills in the final nine points.

The Bruins, who will carry the ECC's top seed into the N.C. High School Athletic Association tournament, will first battle Wilson Hunt at home in the tournament championship on Thursday at 7 p.m.