Patriots declaw Lions

Published 11:30 pm Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots volleyball team picked up its second region win Thursday over Evangel Christian, sweeping the Lions by the scores of 25-18, 25-14 and 26-24.

The Patriots cruised to victory in the first two games, but had to come from behind in the third to complete the sweep.

Evangel led 12-8 at one point, but PLAS was able to battle back, eventually tying the game at 18.

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The two teams then traded points until the score was tied at 24.

Pike Lib then scored the final two points to end the match.

Head Coach Mendy Avant said the comeback was due in large part to the senior leadership on the team.

“They just had to get together,” Avant said. “I just shut my mouth and let my five seniors take over. They did a great job there.”

The team has only nine players, including two eighth graders.

“I pulled up two eighth graders and they’re doing an excellent job,” Avant said. “The girls have done a good job of taking them in and helping them. They’re a good group of girls.”

One of those youngsters, Shelby Baggett, played a huge role in the Patriot victory Thursday, coming up with eight service aces.

“Without Shelby Baggett’s serves, we would not have been able to pull this off,” Avant said. “She was absolutely excellent today.”

With the win over Evangel, Pike Lib is now 3-1 overall and 2-1 in region play.

“We’ve got to keep the momentum going,” Avant said. “We’ve got few in number, but they all do get along. They really mesh.”

Prior to the varsity match, the junior varsity Patriots also swept the junior varsity Lions by the scores of 25-16 and 25-12.

Pike Liberal volleyball will play another region game Tuesday, this time against Fort Dale.

The junior varsity game begins at 3:30 p.m., with the varsity game to follow.