NEW PARIS — The National Trail Lady Blazers volleyball team picked up a pair of wins this week in matches that each went five sets.
The Blazers defeated Cross County Conference foe Bradford in a five-set marathon 25-17, 23-25, 15-25, 25-20, and 15-9 on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
In the first set, NT started off with an early 4-1 lead off of aggressive play by sophomore Lexi Stiner. But after a four point run, Bradford made a comeback to close the lead that NT held throughout the set.
The Lady Blazers finished the win 25-17.
Unfortunately, the second and third sets saw some very sloppy play by both teams, with the Railroaders taking advantage of the NT miscues. At one point, Bradford ran off a 10 point scoring streak after being down 18-9. With the comeback, Bradford was able to pull off winning their first set 25-23.
The third set was an even worse performance by National Trail, losing 25-15. But the Lady Blazers regrouped after being down 2-1 and managed to win the fourth set 25-20 against a stubborn Railroaders team.
In the fifth and final set, NT settled down and took control of the set, sealing the victory 15-9.
Stiner led the Blazer offense with five kills, while junior Abby Sullivan and senior Shania Jordan had four kills each. Jordan also had 11 assists. Sophomore Risa Griffin was perfect from the service line and also had four aces, leading the Lady Blazers in aces was freshman Brooke Johnson with five.
Defensively, the Blazers tallied 71 digs with junior Ariel Lee and Griffin having 19 apiece.
“I have to give praise to the girls for not giving up when we lost sets two and three, they came back and fought back against a smart Bradford team,” said Trail coach Joy Yeazel. “We still have a lot of things to work on at practice, but we are getting better. We are at a crucial time in our season where we have to continue to work even harder, because we have some very tough matches.”
On Monday, Sept. 12, Trail defeated visiting Carlisle Indians in a similar five set match 27-29, 21-25, 25,18, 25,23, and 15-10. The Lady Blazers started off slow again to go down two sets, but came back to win the final three.
Leading the way in the offensive column were Jordan with eight kills and 16 assists. Johnson had seven kills and nine assists. At the service line it was the duo of Stiner with nine aces and Griffin with six aces, both had 23 serve attempts. Lee tallied 25 digs on defense.
“This was a good win for us, although we still have some things to work on offensively,” said Yeazel. “The girls showed resolve and didn’t quit after the first two sets.”
National Trail was scheduled to travel to Arcanum on Thursday, Sept. 15 for a CCC match.
NT is now 3-9 overall and 1-4 in the CCC.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH