10/05/11 — Saints outlast Warriors

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Saints outlast Warriors

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 5, 2011 1:49 PM

Southern Wayne teetered on the brink of defeat against Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference rival Eastern Wayne on Tuesday night.

Trailing two sets to zero, the Saints saved the third set and the match behind a slight change in philosophy and an influx of offense. The result was a 20-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-14, 15-11 victory. The Saints swept the regular-season series from the Warriors in the process.

"I told the girls before the third set to try to speed the game up," Saints head coach Eric Durol said. "We play better when we aren't thinking about just getting the ball over the net. We have to play aggressive and try to hit good shots when they are available."

Southern Wayne pulled ahead in the third set 7-5 on back-to-back kills by Emily Carr and Madison Davis. A pair of consecutive kills by Deborrah Bennett gave the Saints some cushion and ensured the victory. Southern Wayne controlled the fourth set as the stellar play at the net continued.

The Saints got a pair of unforced errors to open the deciding set and increased their lead to 3-1 on a kill by Davis. Eastern Wayne battled back and tied the set on an ace from Stephanie Smith. The teams played back-and-forth and locked up in a tie again at 6-6.

A kill from Ana Rodriquez and an ace from Bennett put the Saints ahead for good. The match ended as Davis delivered her 14th kill of the match.

"It was the same story that we have seen all season," Eastern Wayne head coach Tony Parrish said. "We needed a couple of big points late in the match and we did not get them. We still need to learn how to win."

Brooke Doherty led the Warriors with five kills. Rachel McCollum finished with six aces and two kills.

Bennett paced Southern Wayne with 15 kills. Carr finished with 45 assists.

"These games against Eastern Wayne are always close," Durol said. "It's a good rivalry and I think it brings out the best in the girls. It certainly did tonight."

Southern Wayne (4-11 overall, 2-7 ECC) travels to South Johnston on Thursday, while Eastern Wayne (6-10, 0-9) plays host to C.B. Aycock.