Linden volleyball knocks off Demopolis

Linden volleyball beat Demopolis for the first time in program history Thursday, pulling off a 3-1 victory in a best-of-five match.

“Hopefully it is a starting point for us,” Linden head coach Teressa Bolden said. “We can pick up and keep going. Hopefully we can learn to finish.”

Linden took advantage of persistent errors on the part of the Lady Tigers to win the first game 25-17. The Lady Tigers committed four service errors in that contest while Linden served up 10 balls that were never returned, including three each from Briana Delaine and Charquell Compton, to walk to the easy victory.

In game two, the Lady Tigers could scarcely get out of their own way as Linden relied heavily on the serving prowess of Compton to pull away early. The Lady Patriots scarcely looked back en route to a 25-12 win.

After letting Linden creep back into what appeared destined to be a handy win in game three, Demopolis held the Lady Patriots off for a 25-23 win. The Lady Tigers saw their first service advantage of the match in game three, a contest in which they committed fewer service errors than Linden. That run included three straight aces from freshman Brianna Pruitt as well as a pair from senior Cailin Bamberg.

“We are having a hard time with chemistry right now,” Demopolis coach Blythe Smith said. “We can’t seem to find six girls that work well together on the floor.”

Demopolis trailed by as many as six points in the game before rallying off Pruitt’s serves to close the gap. Bamberg’s aces tied the game before Demopolis later took the lead at 14-13 on a kill by freshman Ebony Moore. Her sister Ivery Moore came up with the kill on the next play to give Demopolis a 15-13. The Lady Tigers led by as many as five in the game, getting their largest margin at 19-14 on an Ivery Moore ace.

“Our serves were better today than they have been,” Smith said. “We have a long way to go in that department, but they were better. We just have to figure some things out about our rotation or our serves are not going to matter.”

Demopolis closed a wide gap in game four and gave itself a shot to force a rubber game before unraveling late and succumbing to a Linden rally that resulted in a 25-21 Lady Patriot victory.

Demopolis trailed 21-14 late in the fourth game when Baleigh Grace dropped in three strong serves sandwiched around an Ebony Moore block and a Martina Smith kill to cut it to 21-19 before a net call gave the serve back to Linden.

Compton finished with 13 total aces in the match for Linden.

The Lady Tigers kept their total service errors at 12 while the Lady Patriots committed 14 of their own.

The key statistical difference in the match came from the service line where Linden had 33 unreturned serves as compared to 18 for Demopolis.

Demopolis (0-3) plays again Monday night when it hosts Thomasville while Linden (1-2) faces Akron Thursday.