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Holly, jolly volley

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Liberty 'Nettes nab first win of season

By Mike Forster

  At long last.

Liberty's volleyball team swept homestanding Heritage.   Normally, that wouldn't be big news.  After all, there are many, many contests over the course of the season.

The Minette win, however, breaks a long losing streak.  After going 20-0 last year, dropping the final three contests of 2010, and falling in the opening eight tilts of the 2012 season, the streak stood at 31 losses.

"That was nice," said Liberty Head Coach Paul Peirce, who took the reins of the program at the start of this school year.  "The team is developing nicely."

While the Minettes took three straight from the Pioneers, it wasn't kids' play.  It was a tough, close match, just like Liberty's previous two losses to Heritage.  In this one, the scores were:  30-28, 26-24, 25-22.  It doesn't get much tighter than that, folks.

What may be most impressive about the win is the resilience shown by Peirce's charges.  In the first game, the 'Nettes dished up seven serving errors.  "We fought our way back," noted Peirce.  "And that set the tone [for the rest of the evening]."

The team got big performances from several players.  Cassidy Hensley smacked down 11 kills.

Sophomore Katie Martin gets the Swiss Army Knife 

award, for her all-around game:  six kills, 11 digs and three aces.

"We finally worked together as a team and our hard work paid off," said Martin.

Frosh  Kim Sharrett flexed some muscle, mauling four kills and sending our a pair of aces.

Oksana Kittrell was seemingly everywhere.  She seemed like a  geometry whiz on ball placement, which  up with her netting 11 digs.  The libero also sent home three back-line kills.  "She showed good anticipation," remarked Peirce.

"It was really exciting," said Kittrell.  "I was happy for the team because getting that first win is hard."

Sophomore Mikala Jones got all six of her kills in the traditional style, soaring over the net.

Audrey McCombs was a linchpin, dishing up 24 assists for her mates.  The junior has a remarkable 206 assists at this point in the season.

The players were clearly elated with the win, hugging one another after Sharrett's ace sewed up Game 3.  They didn't get too giddy, though.  They know that there are other obstacles to overcome along the way.  "This was an important first step," noted Peirce.  "Now we have to win another."

Peirce's charges will get that chance at a second victory sooner soon enough.   They host Jefferson Forest on Thursday, Oct. 11.  They also played at Brookville this past Tuesday, but that game took place after this edition went to press.