Eastside splits matches on senior night

COVINGTON - A relaxed - maybe too relaxed - Eastside volleyball team split its senior night matches, beating Jackson 25-11, 25,17 but losing to Apalachee 25-21, 25-23 Monday.

"We were too relaxed with the excitement of senior night. The girls were having fun," Eastside coach Angie Lewis said. "I would've liked to have had at least one win over (Apalachee)."

Apalachee won the three-way meet beating Jackson 25-3, 25-10.

Against Jackson, the Lady Eagles led 6-4 before Eastside's Antonia Mullins had a kill, set by Naomi Wills, for the side out.

In a matter of minutes, the Lady Eagles extended their advantage to 18-4 behind Chelsea Cooper's 11 service points, including five aces. Cooper finished the night with seven aces.

"She's a first-year player," Lewis said. "She didn't even play JV last year. She really worked hard over the summer. I didn't think she would have a chance to make the team but when it came time to pick it she really surprised me. She was ready to play."

In the final seven points, Eastside's Kelsey Gerks and Tiffany Hodges had two aces each. Hodges had seven aces for the meet while Gerks had three.

Hodges started the second game with two aces while Wills had three of her seven aces, as the Lady Eagles jumped out to a 9-1 lead.

Jackson closed the gap to make it 16-13 before Eastside scored six of the next seven points to get another comfortable cushion at 22-14.

The Lady Red Devils, behind Britni Lewis, had a mini come back to 22-17 before Hodges had two aces for the final three points, including the game winner.

Hodges also had four kills for the meet as did sophomore Kate Johnston. Freshman Tiffani Lo paced the team with eight assists.

Even though Johnston and Lo made appearances, most of the games were played by the seniors.

"I have six senior players and this is their last home game," Lewis said. "It was important to me since most of them have been with me since their ninth-grade year. It's hard to see them go. They were special."

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