08/28/09 — Bears take three-setter from EW

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Bears take three-setter from EW

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 28, 2009 1:49 PM

Opportunity knocked and Eastern Wayne simply couldn't answer.

Down one set, the Warriors held a commanding 18-10 lead in the second set. But visiting New Bern rallied and eventually claimed a 25-17, 26-24, 25-21 non-conference victory Thursday afternoon.

Emily Sparks' service ace pulled Eastern Wayne to within 7-6 in the first set before the Bears' Jani Perez capped a five-point run with a kill. Perez added another kill to extend the lead to 16-8, while the Warriors struggled with unforced errors.

Eastern Wayne gave away 17 points on miscues in the opening set including six of the final 15 points.

"We played scared sometimes and tentative," said Warriors head coach Tony Parrish. "That's part of the process of learning. We've got to become a tight group because the 10 people around you, that's what matters. You've got to believe in each other and trust in each other."

New Bern led 10-5 in the second set before Eastern Wayne used a 13-0 run to grab its 18-10 advantage. Chancey Garrett reeled off back-to-back aces to trim the Warriors' lead to 18-14.

Eastern Wayne later committed four consecutive unforced errors to cut the margin to 24-21.

Leanne Perez's kill and four straight aces from Holly Lafond sealed the Bears' comeback. Perez finished with four kills and an ace in the second set, and had eight kills, two blocks and two aces for the match.

"We're in the process of learning how to win," said Parrish. "It's a hard thing to do when you're not doing it a whole lot. We've got to be able to finish. It's like a mountain, once you get there and learn, then you expect to win."

A New Bern unforced error gave the Warriors a 17-16 lead late in the third set. The Bears picked up nine of the match's final 13 points to close out the final set.

"New Bern has size and I had to count to make sure they only had six players on the floor," said Parrish. "We had to fight for every point we got. We can't hang our heads. I'm very proud of my girls. Our early schedule has been tough and I don't think we'll see anyone in our conference as strong as New Bern."

Eastern Wayne (1-4 overall) plays host to former conference foe Wilson Hunt on Tuesday.