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Edenton ‘Aces’ Bertie volleyball

WINDSOR – Potential.

It’s something Bertie High Head Volleyball Coach Alice Lyons feels she has in her 2010 volleyball squad despite their slow start in Northeastern Coastal Conference play.

Tuesday, Bertie (1-2, 0-2, NCC) dropped its second league contest of the year, 3-0, in straight sets to Edenton (3-7, 1-2, NCC) by scores of 25-22, 25-9, and 25-21. The Lady Falcons had several rallies in the first and third sets and lost both by a mere seven points, combined.

They also spread the workload around as Montreshia Perry led the way with eight kills and four service aces. Tenethia Cherry finished with seven kills and six blocks while Eboni Perry and Ayanna Wilson had three service aces apiece.

Leslee Peeler led the Lady Aces with a match-high nine service aces and 10 kills.

“I was pleased with the way we rallied in the third set after losing that second one,” said Lyons. “I didn’t want to get my girls out of rotation and give them an easy point.

“We just have to step up more when we need to,” she added.

In the first set, Edenton raced out to an early 5-0 lead thanks to capitalizing on Bertie hitting errors, but the Lady Falcons rallied to get within one at 11-10 thanks to a pair of service aces by Wilson.

Edenton came out of that Bertie run with seven straight points to lead, 17-10, before the home team rallied once more to get within two at 17-15.

The Lady Falcons kept the Aces within sight over the next few minutes before getting within a pair again at 23-21 when Lyons called time out.

After the brief break, Edenton scored on a kill by Peeler while Bertie countered with a kill from Holley to make it 24-22. The Lady Aces then got the game-winner on a Bertie return error.

The second set featured Edenton dashing out to another big lead and a scare for the Lady Falcons when Cherry collided with a teammate and crumpled to the floor.

Dazed from the fall she would later return, but by then Edenton had things well in hand, easing out to leads of 18-3, 21-5 and 24-8 before a Bertie error gave them the 25-9 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third and final set started tight and stayed that way throughout.  Edenton opened, 3-2, before Bertie made some adjustments and tied it at 8-8 on a service ace by Perry.

Bertie then went on their best scoring run of the evening and built a lead of 16-12 and later 19-14 before Edenton regrouped and pulled into a tie at 20-20.

With Peeler on serve, Edenton retook the lead 23-20 thanks to three straight service aces.

Bertie got one more point thanks to an Edenton return error, but then became error-prone on their own and the Lady Aces took advantage and closed it out with the final two points.

“She (Peeler) is our best server,” said Edenton coach Connie Peeler, “but she’s also such a good hitter I wish I could also play her at the net.

“Sometimes when you play a team you’re equal with you don’t seem to step up like you would with a stronger opponent,” she added with a shrug, “and I haven’t found a way to make that happen for them mentally.”

“We’ll get better,” said Lyons. “It’s early.”

Bertie goes in search of their first conference win when they face Hertford County in a match on the road in Ahoskie today (Thursday) beginning with the jayvee game at 4:00 followed by the varsity contest at 5:30.

(By Gene Motley, Sports Writer)