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Thrilling third set victory sparks Brighton over Millington

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Volleyball Bri v Mill

Brighton senior Lilly Hill volleys a point over the heads of a pair of Lady Trojans last week.

Brighton senior Lilly Hill volleys a point over the heads of a pair of Lady Trojans last week.

Volleyball Lindsey Harris

After two sets Aug. 25, it was evident the Brighton Lady Cardinals and Millington Lady Trojans were evenly match.
The visiting Lady Cardinals were able to outlast Millington in the first set 25-23. But in the second set the Lady Trojans gave the Millington Gymnasium faithful something to cheer about winning 26-24.
Then came the epic third set that brought some spectators to their feet. Both squads refused to relinquish control with several ties leading to Brighton earning a 30-28 win.
“It was really crucial to help us get our momentum going again,” Brighton Head Coach Cheryl Jacobs said. “We’ve came off playing everyday last week. It was nice build up for us to make sure we didn’t fall into a slump or get behind again.”
Going ahead 2-1 in sets seemed to give the Lady Cardinals a boost and break the spirit of the Lady Trojans as Brighton finished off the overall match winning the fourth set 25-12.
The third set started under the control of the Lady Cardinals jumping ahead 10-4. Brighton received steady play from seniors Lilly Hill and Jada Johnson with services and solid plays in the middle of the court throughout the first three sets.
Brighton junior hitter Shayna Johnson was the spark for the Lady Cardinals in the third set with two kills to build the early advantage. The score was 12-7 in favor of Brighton when Makayla Rose used a push to score. When Lady Cardinal Sydney Cottingham blocked a Lady Trojan spike attempt Brighton was ahead 14-7 in the third set.
Then Millington woke up and rallied for a 6-0 run led by the serving of freshman Addison Coulter. In the middle of Coulter’s serving, her teammate Ashley Freeze scored on hit.
The score was 14-13 in favor of Brighton when Rose broke Millington’s momentum with a kill. The Lady Cardinals appeared to seize control of the third set jumping ahead 20-14.
The Lady Trojans had another rally in them with senior Katie Dupree scoring to make the tally 20-18. Once again Rose was the Lady Cardinal to put a temporary stop to Millington’s run with a push point.
With Brighton ahead 22-18, Coulter used her 6’2 frame to help Millington stay alive. The youthful hitter scored on back-to-back-to-back kills to make the score 22-21.
After Coulter rallied the Lady Trojans, both teams had a chance to win with six ties after that point. Brighton broke the 28-28 deadlock and scored the final point to seize control of the overall match.
“They’re a much improved team and I think we’re a much improved team as well,” Jacobs said. “I’ve got a nice variety. I’ve got a couple of seniors who lead me on the court with Lily and Jade in the middle. Shayna is my left-handed outside hitter and she’s a junior. I’ve got sophomore blocking the next and a sophomore setter.”
Brighton kept its momentum in the fourth set winning by 13 points and improved to 3-1 on the season. Jacobs said taking that third set on the road against a quality Regional opponent is a confidence booster for the 2014 season.
“It also shows we can comeback and play — never give up,” she concluded. “We were down, especially that set we won 30-28. They fought down to the end. It shows them if they keep pursuing they can come out on top. Just because you’re down that one point, doesn’t mean you can’t take it.”

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