Bears extinguish Blazers

By Sam Doherty

Sports/Opinions Editor

The Brookhaven College Lady Bears volleyball team took to the court to face off against the North Lake Blazers. The Bears were decked out in pink uniforms in honor of those fighting breast cancer, as the Lady Bears won their fifth consecutive game Oct. 1, defeating the Blazers 3-1.

Set 1

Brookhaven jumped out of the gate hot with great communication and poise. After the first few minutes in Set 1, the Lady Bears looked unstoppable, building their lead to 11-3. North Lake would not give up without a fight, closing the gap back down to 4 points at 15-11.

After a service ace by Taylor Stone, Alexis Garner smashed a long, powerful spike, which pushed Brookhaven’s lead back to 8 points, 20-12.

North Lake once again cut into Brookhaven’s lead, bringing the score within 4 points at 22-18, but the Blazers hurt themselves the rest of the set with a few service errors into the net, which led to 3 points for Brookhaven. After multiple long volleys that led to points for both teams, Erin Terry made a great defensive play by stuffing a spike back to North Lake’s side, setting up a game point, 24-18. One set later, Samantha Eaton faked out North Lake by winding up for a hard spike, only to dump the ball over the outstretched arms of the Blazer defense for the final point, 25-19.

Set 2

Set 2 started off just like the first, with Brookhaven jumping out to a big lead. Head coach Jason Hopkins inserted Hannah Schulz shortly after the set began and she did not disappoint. Schulz scored 7 points on eight serves, bringing the score to 11-2.

Eaton scored 2 more points for Brookhaven. The first came with a skillful dink shot close to the net. The second was off a perfect set-up by Stone, which Eaton slammed hard with a spike onto North Lake’s side, cushioning their lead to 10 points at 13-3.

Brookhaven’s hustle was relentless, and the Blazers never cut into their lead. The Lady Bears went on to score on multiple spikes and great defensive plays near the net, winning the set 25-10. The Lady Bears were mauling the helpless North Lake team.

Set 3

North Lake mounted a comeback in Set 3. Their communication was on point, and they appeared to have finally found the passion to win, jumping out to a lead of 2-8. Brookhaven cut into the Blazers’ lead twice during the set, closing the gap to within a few points. But North Lake’s willpower was too strong, and they pacified every comeback attempt the Lady Bears made. North Lake won Set 3 15-25.

Set 4

As Set 4 began with the Blazers gaining momentum, the Brookhaven crowd became anxiously hushed. The Lady Bears’ determination put them on the winning side of two long volleys as the Brookhaven fans got right back up on their feet and went wild.

After winning the first 2 points, Mathis Popelsky made another unbelievable save, scoring another point for Brookhaven. After a reversed call, Brookhaven had a 3-0 advantage. The Lady Bears slashed through North Lake’s confidence as Stone served seven consecutive times, pushing the score up to 7-0 in less than three minutes.

With victory within their paws, the Lady Bears demonstrated great communication and ball placement. Terry, Garner and Kelsey Rogers scored points with spikes so hard and fast they blew straight through the Blazers defense.

Crystal Lewis scored twice off spikes near the center of the net, her last one turning the score to 23-12. Eaton hit a medium-paced spike to the left side of the court with grace. No Blazer stood to defend the winning point, 25-14.

After winning the match against North Lake three sets to one, Brookhaven is now 4-0 in conference play with an overall record of 15-7. Their next home game will be 7 p.m. Oct. 12 when they take on Eastfield College, who already suffered a loss to the Lady Bears. But Hopkins said Eastfield will be Brookhaven’s toughest opponent in conference play this season. The Lady Bears are currently on a five-match winning streak.