Lady Vikes outlast Missy Gators

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Vicksburg threatened to split sets with Warren Central in Tuesday’s crosstown volleyball match, but the steady play of senior Brooke Kistler rallied the Lady Vikes to a 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-18) win.

Kistler came up with three key points to highlight a 7-0 run that turned a 17-13 deficit in the second set into a 20-17 lead for WC. Two aces by Taylor Willis closed out the set and gave the Lady Vikes a commanding 2-0 set lead. Kistler dominated the final set, leading WC to 10 straight points for a huge 16-4 cushion.

Warren Central improved to 6-5 overall and 3-2 in Region 2-6A. Vicksburg drops to 1-8 and 0-3.

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Kistler, who finished with 20 points in the match off seven aces, three kills, three digs and a block, said her team adjusted to how the match was being called.

“The ref was calling some different type stuff on us, but as a senior captain, I just had to get us to work even harder,” Kistler said. “My job is to hustle after balls. When I do that, that gets Taylor (Willis) to do the same. Shae Bracey has done great as a first-year player and that gives us two bigs at the net.”

WC coach Greg Head said his team overcame some mistakes that helped Vicksburg make it a competitive match after the Lady Vikes won the first set with relative ease, 25-11.

“The ref was calling us for double hits which is something no one else has called on us before,” Head said. “We had to shrug it off and play our game. We settled some things out. Shae Bracey has really come on with her attacks and she’s now getting closer to Taylor, who’s one of the leaders in the state.”

Bracey is a 6-foot freshman who made strides late last season as junior high callup to the WC varsity basketball team. She had seven points in the match off five aces and two kills.

Willis, who was WC’s top attacker in last year’s debut season, finished with eight points off five aces and three kills. De’Una Myers had nine points and senior Mary Hall had four points, all off defensive digs that helped finish off the final set.

“Mary has become one of our back row players and has done well there,” Head said.

Hall, who directed a petition drive to make volleyball a varsity sport for the Vicksburg Warren School district, loves her role.

“I love being a defensive player,” Hall said. “I had to because I broke my wrist over the summer so my serves are kind of shaky.”

Second-year Vicksburg coach Charity Gomez said her team continues to make progress despite the loss.

“We missed our chance there in the second set,” Gomez said. “We missed some key serves when we had the lead. But what was good for us was our ball control. We’ve worked a lot on it and today, it was the best we’ve done with it all season.”

Another good note for the Missy Gators was how they staved off four match points in the final set. Sydney Gifford came up with three straight points to cut a 24-15 deficit down to 24-18. A defensive dig point by WC’s Myers ended the match.

Breianna Foster and Jessica Sanders led Vicksburg with six points while Gifford had five.