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Northeast wins battle of Eagles

ASKEWVILLE – The battle of the Lady Eagles went to Northeast Academy this time.

Northeast took a five-set victory over Bethel Christian Academy Friday afternoon to even their season series at one-all.

The match was a seesaw battle with Bethel recording a 25-23 victory in the first set and Northeast responding with a 25-18 win in the second.

BCA rallied to claim another 25-23 win in the third game while Northeast tallied a 25-18 win in the fourth.

The visiting NEA squad then claimed a 15-6 victory in the fifth set.

In the fourth game, Northeast jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind the serve of Callie Burgess.

After a Bethel point, senior Jeanie Hargrave took over and delivered three aces during her next four points to push the NEA lead to 9-1.

Bethel cut their deficit to 14-7 and gave the ball to Julia Cullipher, who promptly rolled off four consecutive serving aces to get the score within 14-11.

The teams battled back and forth until Northeast held a tenuous 21-18 advantage.

From there, however, Lindsey White took over the serve and served out the match for Northeast. The calm under pressure didn’t escape the notice of Pfeiffer.

&uot;If Lindsey White hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have won that one,&uot; the coach said. &uot;She pulled us through.&uot;

With the match tied, Northeast was able to pull away in the fifth game. Neither team served well heading into the first few points, but Lindsey Bridgers rolled off four straight points midway through the set thanks to a pair of kills by Burgess and NEA took a 9-3 lead.

From there, NEA took the win as Burgess served out the final three points, including getting a kill from Bridgers as they took the win.

In the first set, Northeast appeared to be in control with a 23-20 lead, but Bethel rallied behind the serve of senior Kayla Overton. The right-hander rolled off four consecutive points on her serve to lead Bethel to the 25-23 win.

Also key for the home team during the first game were Brittany Howell and Christian Wolfe, who each had big points.

In game number two, the teams battled close through the first two-thirds of the set.

With Bethel trailing 16-12, Overton had a winning shot and then added a kill moments later. Wolfe rolled off a point on her serve and Overton had an ace to help trim the lead to 19-16.

From there, it was all Hargrave as she had two kills to help Northeast pull away. NEA won the set off two serves from London Harrell.

In game three, Mandy Bazemore started things off right for BCA with a kill as Bethel took a 3-1 lead.

Hargrave was again a catalyst for Northeast as her defense made it hard for Bethel to get any offensive kills.

While Hargrave was tough defensively, Northeast was led offensively by Burgess, who recorded three kills and several service points.

Bethel, however, countered with Overton’s solid offensive performance as she recorded three kills while Howell added two as Bethel went on for a 25-23 win.

With Bridgers in just her third match since her return, Pfeiffer said she was already making a difference for Northeast.

&uot;She makes all the difference in the world,&uot; he said. &uot;She brings the excitement back and she brings net play back.&uot;

The coach was also pleased with the hustle of Hargrave.

&uot;She’s not afraid to leave her feet and get on the floor and dig the ball out,&uot; Pfeiffer said. &uot;She really hustled today.&uot;

Northeast will be back in action today (Tuesday) when they host Ridgecroft School. Bethel will also be on the court today as they travel to Ahoskie Christian School.