10/06/06 — ECC volleyball - Eastern Wayne shocks Beddingfield

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ECC volleyball - Eastern Wayne shocks Beddingfield

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 6, 2006 2:24 PM

Brooke Newsome didn't like the long and silent bus ride home three weeks ago when Eastern Wayne let perennial volleyball power Wilson Beddingfield slip through its fingers.

She didn't want to experience another letdown.

"I was personally disappointed because I know we didn't play up to our potential," said Newsome. "Everybody else was disappointed, too, because we knew we could beat them.

"We didn't play our game the way we could have, and I know we could have done better. I knew the next time they came here, we would do better."

The Warriors did.

Newsome dished out 32 assists and Eastern Wayne needed just 67 minutes to hand Beddingfield a 25-20, 25-19, 25-19 defeat. The Warriors (11-2) earned a share of first place in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference at 7-1, and snapped the Bruins' 19-match win streak against league opposition.

Both head coaches felt Wednesday's practices factored into the three-set affair. The Warriors, directed by Bruce Burridge and assistant Holly Van Hofwegen, fine-tuned a few things, but didn't push the players which helped them save energy for the key late-season matchup.

"The easy practice really helped because their legs were not dead," said Van Hofwegen. "We didn't condition as hard and gave them a shorter practice. They really wanted to win (today) and they pulled together as a team."

Bruin coach Stephanie Britt, who continued to tweak her team's offense, admitted she didn't fully prepare her team for its second meeting with Eastern Wayne. She assumed responsibility for the loss.

"They played hard and gave it what they had," said Britt, a former Bruin basketball standout. "You have days like this and we're used to fighting through them. We had our spurts where we looked well, but we had a hard time closing out."

Eastern Wayne executed efficiently throughout the three-set affair. The Warriors forced sideouts on 19 of 35 serve attempts by the Bruins, and committed just nine attack errors.

Newsome effectively worked the ball around the net and spread out assists among five hitters -- Brittanni Billups, Anna Wilkins, Carly Boyette, LeAnna Rothwell and Jordei Osby. Billups posted a match-high 12 kills, while Wilkins and Osby each provided eight.

"Our execution was great and we mixed things up," said Burridge. "We got everybody involved in the attack and it worked well."

The Warriors delivered the more-consistent attack once it reached the 20-point mark in each game. Eastern Wayne needed three game points to claim the first set and converted three of five set-point opportunities overall.

"We definitely pushed," said Newsome. "I kept telling them in the timeouts not to let up because we've gotten this far. Just don't let them come back."

Billups' kill off Jean Best's solo-block attempt put Eastern Wayne ahead 7-6 in the opening game. The Warriors maintained either a two- or three-point advantage and put the Bruins away with a late 6-2 run.

In game two, Beddingfield built a 14-12 lead on Barbara DeRatt's kill and an unforced error by the Warriors. The Bruins squandered the advantage with back-to-back unforced errors, and Boyette's off-speed hit off Billups' assist put Eastern Wayne in front 15-14.

Burridge's team won three of the next four sideouts and closed out the game with a 6-0 run. Wilkins, Osby and Boyette had one kill apiece during the spurt.

"We just got it together," said Burridge.

DeRatt and Best combined for two kills and one block as the Bruins turned a four-point deficit into a 12-10 lead in game three. They couldn't keep the momentum and eventually surrendered their advantage with the game tied at 17-17.

Billups' ace ignited a match-clinching 8-2 run. Wilkins ripped back-to-back kills and Billups served another ace before Britt burned her second timeout. The teams traded points off sideouts until Osby put Beddingfield away with consecutive kills off Newsome assists.

"We didn't play intimidated," said Burridge. "We knew we could have won at their place."

Notes: Rothwell and libero Anna Hajjar led the EW defense with seven digs apiece. ... Billups recorded two solo blocks and one assist block. ... DeRatt emerged the Bruins' offensive leader with 10 kills. ... Best, a junior, provided three kills and five solo blocks. ... The teams combined for just nine serve errors and 12 unforced errors.