Lady Eagles sweep
Eastside 2-0, Newton winless at tri-meet

COVINGTON - Both of Eastside's matches went to three games in the tri-team match with Newton and Apalachee on Tuesday.

But the Lady Eagles were able to sweep the matches, while Apalachee split its two matches.

Eastside beat the Lady Wildcats 25-23, 14-25, 25-22 before beating Newton 22-25, 25-21, 25-19.

"This early in the season, I think it's good to play under pressure. It's hard as a coach to watch. It is exciting, but at the same time it's stressful," Eastside head coach Angie Lewis said.

Freshman Katie Johnson helped tremendously in the wins with 10 aces and nine kills.

Also playing a major role was junior Antonia Mullins, who finished the night with five aces, six kills and nine blocks.

"Her getting up on the net is intimidating to the other team," Lewis said. "She does a real good job getting up there."

However, the win was more of a team effort than the contribution of a few key players.

"We have more bench depth this year. Tiffani Hodges did a great job coming off the bench getting the serves over. All the girls contributed. Everybody did their part and it was good as a unit," Lewis said.

The one thing Eastside still has to work on is communication. Lewis said that even though it is a concern, she feels that being so early in the season it's something they can work on.

The Lady Rams fought hard in both matches but mental errors kept them from achieving a win.

Some of the mistakes committed by Newton included not communicating, which allowed the ball to either fall between two players or missed passes, and hitting the ball toward without knowing where they were, which resulted in the ball hitting the net because the players were too close.

"Practice, practice and more practice. We have to work on our offense and get more consistent with it," Newton head coach Shandelyn Carter said.

The one thing that Carter liked despite the losses was the way the girls went after the ball.

"I like the way our girls hustled. There were sometimes when I thought the ball was unplayable. But yet our girls chased the ball down and went after them," she said.

Senior Valencia Selby paced the Lady Rams with six aces. She also had four kills.

April Ho had four aces and two kills while Salina Xiong had two aces and six kills.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.