Opening game win not enough for Quitman

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The Quitman Lady Bulldogs dropped the Sept. 3 home match against Van, three games to one. Quitman stormed onto the floor and took the opening game in some of their best volleyball of the year. The Lady Vandals were resilient and claimed the ensuing games for the match victory.

Despite coming out with high energy and great floor movement, Quitman fell behind early and trailed 5-1. The turning point for game one came after a long volley which featured a great one-handed save by Julia Simpkins and a resounding point by Ava Burroughs on a block at the net.

The Lady Bulldogs scrapped for each point and tied the game at 11. Maddy Whitehurst collected three kills in the sequence. Back to back service aces by Whitehurst gave Quitman a 13-11 edge.

Another block by Burroughs and a service ace by Simpkins forced Van to call a time out. The teams battled point by point. Despite two Lady Bulldog communication errors, the game stood tied at 19. Kills by Jentri Jackson and Lucy Brannon offset the errors.

The closing moments of game one were frantic. Two scores by Burroughs and yet another service ace by Whitehurst cemented the victory for Quitman, 25-20.

Van jumped out to an early lead in game two. After a short Quitman rally to tie the game at 11 the Lady Vandals methodically opened a seven point lead and captured game two 25-18.

Game three saw Quitman restore their energy and tempo. The Lady Bulldogs built a quick 8-3 lead behind excellent play by Brannon and Burroughs. Van signaled a time out.

The Lady Vandals evened the score at 9 and opened a small margin. Quitman retaliated and matched scores at 16. The Van spiking accuracy, especially cross-court, was the difference in finishing game three, as they won 25-21.

It was clear that the Lady Bulldogs had believed they had enough to take game three. They did not overcome that loss and could not rebuild the steam necessary to continue the fight. They dropped game four 25-14.

The Lady Bulldogs looked ahead to a match against Lindale to bring them momentum going into the Pat Neighbors Tournament, Sept. 7 in Quitman.

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