TULSA – Rejoice Christian’s young volleyball squad has shown improvement through the first half of the season.
The Eagles entered Tuesday night’s road match against Berryhill with a .500 record and, at 7-7 overall, had already surpassed last year’s win total. Rejoice looked to rise above the break-even point but twice squandered early leads and fell to the Maidens in four, 25-19, 22-25, 26-24 and 25-10.
“We had our chances in the first and third games and that hurt us when we didn’t convert,” said Eagles coach Zac Briscoe. “(Berryhill) went to state last year and they return some of those key players. We played hard and we’re young. I was proud of them. They got better.”
Rejoice (7-8) led 14-10 in the first set but Berryhill rallied with a 12-2 spurt and took the early one-game lead.
The Eagles again took command in the second set as Ashley Shern’s ace and a block from Tara Shaw put them ahead 15-8. The Maidens closed the Rejoice margin to one point on two occasions before Sarah England produced the game-winning point with a cross-court kill that also evened the match at 1-1.
Rejoice grabbed a 17-11 cushion, thanks to Shern’s serving prowess that helped the Eagles rip off seven straight points. Berryhill again forged a rally on its home court, this time an 8-2 surge that tied the game. The two teams were tied five times down the stretch before a Rejoice serving error and errant hit gave the Maidens the pivotal set.
Berryhill scored 11 of the first 12 points of the fourth set and never looked back.
Rejoice has a week off before it returns to the court Sept. 10 when the Eagles host Victory Christian.