PONTOTOC - New Albany overcame a very sluggish start as they closed the opening set on a run of 11-1 and went on to defeat Pontotoc in straight sets 3-0 by scores of 25-19, 25-17 and 25-19.
Rosalee Roberts had a huge night for the Lady Bulldogs, particularly in the first set as she was responsible for four of the final six points with two kills and two aces.
“Masey Kate (Adams) had some really good sets and she was just spreading the offense a little bit more,” Roberts said. “We realized that we had to start playing harder, Pontotoc is one of our big rivals and it’s really important to just keep your spirits up in the game and to work hard for what you want.”
Pontotoc started strong as they held five-point leads twice in the match at 11-6 and 17-12, but a huge run during the service of Greta Blakemore brought the Lady Bulldogs back from a three point deficit to a four point advantage.
Blakemore registered three aces during the 7-0 run while Vakeria Jett and Roberts had a kill apiece.
New Albany fell behind again in the second set, but broke a 10-all tie and finished on a 15-7 run to go up 2-0 in the match. Pontotoc had taken a 6-1 lead early in the match and twice followed that lead up with four point leads before New Albany overtook them.
“Pontotoc played an excellent game tonight, one of the best games I’ve seen them play all year,” New Albany coach Ashley Connolly said. “We have to continue playing our game and we were not tonight.”
New Albany was able to spread the ball around the court as a half dozen players were able to record kills on the night to help take some of the load off Blakemore.
“This was Rosalee’s game, she had her best game of the year,” Connolly said. “We are working on placing balls and taking smart shots. Overall I thought Masey did a good job of spreading the ball and going to the outsides when we needed her, going to Greta when we needed and going to the back row as well. Maggie (Moore) got swings tonight as well.”
Greta takes over
Blakemore took over the match in the third set as she picked up eight kills and three service aces to lead the Lady Bulldogs to the 25-19 win and send the Lady Bulldogs home a winner at 3-0.
Blakemore had another solid match for the Lady Bulldogs as she led the team with 14 kills and seven aces while Roberts was close behind with 10 kills and three aces.
Moore led New Albany with 16 digs while Janae Shackleford had two blocks. Adams had a busy night at the setter position with 36 assists.
New Albany and Pontotoc divide wins in JV and middle school
Pontotoc won the JV match 2-0 over New Albany by scores of 25-17 and 25-18. New Albany won the middle school match which started things off for the day by 2-0.