08/22/12 — Bell gets first win

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Bell gets first win

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 22, 2012 1:48 PM

DUDLEY -- Years from now Courtney Bell may not remember much about Southern Wayne's performance against Southern Nash on Tuesday evening.

The first-year Saints' head volleyball coach may not recall a lot about how her team played -- there was enough to correct. She may have difficulty recalling the opponent -- Southern Nash.

Or how many sets it took to complete the match -- four.

What Bell is sure to remember is it was her first win at Southern Wayne. Deborah Bennett pounded out 13 kills and the Saints earned a 27-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-19 win.

Southern Wayne fought off three set points in set one as the Firebirds committed miscues at an inopportune time. Bennett provided back-to-back kills as the Saints claimed the opening set.

"We played as a team today," Bell said. "That is what we've been harping on and we've been stressing -- team and team and team. The ball wasn't falling our way in the first set and that is when you have to tighten down and play a little smarter and that is what we did. We played with poise and came hard at them."

Southern Wayne (1-3 overall) jumped out to a 14-7 lead in set two as Southern Nash was plagued by unforced errors. Elizabeth Best's off-speed hit and two kills from Bennett pushed the margin to 18-10. The Firebirds closed to within 24-20, but a serve that sailed long brought the set to a close.

Both teams struggled to serve throughout the match and that inconsistency haunted the Saints in the third set. Southern Nash built a 14-10 lead and overcame four kills from Bennett to claim set three.

"Our serving tonight, I was disappointed in," Bell said. "That has not been an issue. We will have to go back to the drawing board with that. We are just going to serve and serve, and serve some more."

Southern Wayne regrouped and two aces from Bennett aided the Saints' cause in taking a 10-4 lead in the fourth set. Bennett delivered two kills and an ace down the stretch to help finish off the Firebirds.

Southern Wayne setter Kala Overton handed out 22 assists.

"Deborah did a great job," Bell said. "I have to credit our setter and our passes because Deborah can't hit without her teammates. I was very proud of them."