|Sulphur Bluff punches playoff ticket|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Oct. 20, 2004 - DETROIT - It took five games for the Sulphur Bluff Lady Bears to punch their ticket into the Class A volleyball playoffs against the Detroit Lady Eagles Tuesday night.
The Lady Bears won by the score of 21-25, 25-19, 25-17, 15-25, 16-14 in the deciding set of the evening.
"At first we came out a little slow, and we needed to come in and play together," senior Ashley Pettit said. "Once we got to the fifth game, we decided we needed to do what we had to do to win."
Coach Jarret Wilson's team is now 21-1 overall and 5-0 in district play with a match-up against Avery to wrap up regular season play Friday night.
"If we are able to take care of business Friday night against Avery, we will be 6-0 and finish out the district in first," Wilson said. "Avery is an awesome team, and we went four sets against them in our first meeting and I expect the same thing Friday night."
Friday's contest against Avery is going to be Senior Night at SBHS, and Jaggers knows this will be the last regular season game they will play at the school, so emotions will be high for the match-up.
"That game is going to be Senior Night for us and so I believe we are going to put it to them in the game," Jaggers said.
The Class A bi-district playoffs begin Nov. 4-6 and Jaggers would like to see this team make it all the way to the state tournament this year.
"We want to go all the way this year because sports is all that we do, and we want to make it all the way," Jaggers said.
Detroit, under coach Marrisa Spinks, falls to 2-3 on the district season with a contest against Simms James Bowie to end the season Friday night.
"Tonight was a hard fought game," Wilson said. "Detroit is a great team and it is great to see these girls have such leadership and their desire to win is unreal."
Sulphur Bluff started out the night slow, falling behind 7-0 on the serving of Detroit junior Misty Patt, who had three aces during the scoring run. SBHS broke the serve of Patt when Jennifer McDonald blocked a scoring attack from Detroit for a 7-1 deficit.
The senior duo of Pettit and Jill Jaggers combined for multiple scoring opportunities throughout the night, cutting the Lady Eagle lead to 11-9 with the assist from Jaggers and a massive kill from Pettit.
Pettit ended the game with 23 kills, four aces, one block and one assist, while Jaggers had 26 assists, eight aces and two kills on the night for the Lady Bears.
"She has always been one of the best players out there and I knew that in order for us to win I would have to get her the set," Jaggers said. "I knew that if I got it to Ashley, she could put it wherever it needed to go on the court."
In game two, Jaggers continued her fiery play with six aces and seven service points for an 11-7 lead.
The Lady Bears ended game two at 25-19 with a kill from Pettit off the assist from Jaggers to even the match at 1-1.
In game four, Sulphur Bluff jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead behind the serving of Jennifer McDonald, who had two aces during that run.
Detroit's Kenda Covey tied the game at 8-8 in game four with an ace, one of her five on the night, to go along with 18 kills in the game. She also had three blocks on the night.
Detroit took a 19-10 lead on a kill from Patt with an assist from Carmen Williams, but SBHS answered back with a kill by Kaylee Phillips on an assist from Jaggers.
In the deciding game, both teams went back and fourth for the first half of the match until Phillips answered with a key attack, scoring eight service points for a 13-7 lead.
Jaggers and Pettit were involved in six of the eight points during that stretch of the match. Pettit ended the match with an ace for the 16-14 game five win to keep their district record unblemished.
McDonald rounded out the game with eight kills, three aces and one block, while teammate Phillips had four kills and four aces for the Lady Bears.
Patt had seven kills, four aces and one block, while teammate Williams had four assists, one kill, one ace and one block for the Lady Eagles.