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Eads Volleyball Splits in Opening Weekend

Head Coach Chelsea Davis was quietly optimistic about the Eads Girls Volleyball team as they traveled to Springfield winning a 3-1 opening match on Thursday; a season-opening win that hasn’t happened against Springfield for a few years.  However, in their home opener on Friday against Otis, the Eads girls made too many mistakes and lost 3-0 to a very experienced Otis team with deep volleyball roots.  Overall, the 1-1 Lady Eagles, made a good start in their 2017 campaign.

Eads Seniors Mindi Uhalnd, Mariah Smith, and Brenna RouseThe Eads varsity team is loaded with upperclassmen including three seniors and a slew of juniors.  Starting middle hitters are senior Mariah Smith and junior Brooklynn Jones.  Outside hitters include senior Brenna Rouse and junior Emily Gyurman; and the quarterbacks are senior Mindi Uhland and junior Hadlie Rittgers.  Another junior, Lauren Spady, is the team’s Libero.  Freshman Ally Spady and sophomore Kaycee Ellenberger also see a lot of time setting and blocking for the Lady Eagles.

In the Springfield game Eads came out tough and played back and forth with the Lady Longhorns for the lead during the first rotation.  When the young Spady came in to serve, the Lady Eagles started gaining the advantage moving ahead 19-18 and then 22-20 on a couple of points off of serves by Jones.  Smith is a big force in the middle this year and setting her and Ellenberger together with an outside block proved to be effective.  Finally, Uhland’s serve did the magic as the senior went back to the line after a time out and served out the side getting the win, 25-21.  Eads would continue the advantage going into Set 2 as Jones enjoyed a huge run from the service line of 8 points, including 3 aces.  Eads would win Set 2 going away 25-20.  The Lady Longhorns came roaring back in Set 3 getting the 25-16 win and catching the Eagles relaxing way too much after their first two wins.  The story in the game was the Eads mistakes as they lost focus and really never got it back in the game.  But Set 4 was Eads’ as they battled Springfield, now playing with confidence, to an exciting 26-24 set and match victory.  Springfield made one more mistake than Eads and it cost them as Uhland rotated to the back on a forced Longhorn error and promptly served three straight service points for the win.

The Eads JV enjoyed some exciting volleyball action in Springfield as they won 2-1 against the Longhorns.  In the first set, the two teams battled to an exciting 27-25 finish for the Lady Eagles.  Eads then lost their focus and would lose big in Set 2, 25-15, as one player gained 14 points on Eads alone.  But, credit the young Eagles as they came back getting the deciding third set, 15-12.  This year Eads has the luxury of putting a C team on the floor as they are loaded with talented underclassmen.  In the C team set the Eads group defeated Springfield 25-19, making it a sweep on the night for Eads.

Mariah Smith & Allison Spady Otis brought the broom on Friday night to Eads as the traditional excellence of the Otis program showed up loud and clear.  The Lady Bulldogs played some excellent defense and, although they aren’t a powerhouse this year, they do have some athletes who know how to play.  The Lady Eagles played Otis pretty even in the first rotation of the first set as Smith was a huge force in the front row both hitting and blocking a number of points for Eads.  The Eagle defense was pretty good too as they moved well and didn’t allow Otis much opportunity to score.  However, when Smith rotated to the back with the score tied 13-13, the defense got a little shaky, and all of a sudden Eads started making mistakes.  Once they got behind in the first set, the Eads group did not recover, although Coach Davis tried different combos to see if they would work.  Eads lost Set 1, 15-25.  The Lady Eagles came alive in the second Set going after the weaknesses the Bulldogs presented.  Particularly, Eads’ blocking and defense were tough throughout the game.  Eads took the lead 23-22 but then made a vital error that gave the ball back to Otis and tied up the score.  After a time out, the Bulldogs finished off the Lady Eagles in a heartbreaker, 23-25.  That was all Eads had in the tank as the Bulldogs took the wind out of the Eagle sails for Set 3.  Otis dominated and quickly ended their night’s work winning, 25-13.

The very talented youngsters on the Eads JV team put the hurt on Otis defeating them in two straight sets, 25-15 and 25-12.

The Lady Eagles will now be able to enjoy the Kiowa County Fair without any games on the schedule.  They will start back up when they host Crowley County on Tuesday, September 12 at 4:00 pm.  Holly will then come to town next Thursday, September 14 for a 4:00 pm date; and Eads will travel to Cheraw on Friday, September 15 for a conference game starting at 5:30 pm.

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