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Lady Rams Lose in Final Home Games

BLUEFIELD, Va. — A busy day at the Bluefield College Dome began early. It was the home finale for the Lady Rams volleyball team and a match they would likely rather forget.

November 2, 2009

By JED LOCKETT

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

 

BLUEFIELD, Va. — A busy day at the Bluefield College Dome began early. It was the home finale for the Lady Rams volleyball team and a match they would likely rather forget.

 

Jessie Jakes had nine kills, Erica Adams had eight kills, an ace and a block and Covenant fought off Bluefield College for a 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 win early Saturday afternoon.

 

“We were not ready to play today, period,” said Bluefield College head coach Jaime Bowman. “Individually, we’re not ready to do our job. As a team, we weren’t trusting each other. We weren’t covering. Our position was off. Serves, everything was just off today ... .”

 

“Bluefield has a very scrappy defense and they get the ball up over and over and over again,” said Covenant head coach Heather Taylor. “We just were trying to focus on consistently hitting the ball in bounds again and again and again until they didn’t get the ball up anymore.”

 

The Lady Rams went toe-to-toe with the Lady Scots in the first game, trading runs and short spurts. Bluefield College held a 15-12 lead, but thanks to solid play including a pair of aces by Joanna McGill, Covenant rolled off the next five points in the game’s decisive run.

 

“We just had been working on finishing the game stronger than we started, especially playing without unforced errors,” Taylor said.

 

The Scots took control early in the second game, equally making plays and taking advantage of Bluefield College errors to forge an early 10-4 lead. The Lady Rams made a late rally, but it came at the wrong time. Emily Dupree led the Scots in the game with four kills.

 

“She is always consistent,” Taylor said. “She is reliable and solid and just a really strong player. We can count on her to his the ball hard and to hit the ball well and to not make unforced errors.”

 

The third game saw Covenant take a 17-11 lead only to see Bluefield College come back to close the score to 17-16. When the Scots needed it most, they got a game-winning effort from Jakes, who registered all five of her game-three kills late. Fittingly, the final point of the match was an unreturnable spike by Jakes.

 

“She is extremely athletic and extremely competitive and I really like having her on the court and she would certainly be one of our go-to hitters when she’s out there,” Taylor said.

 

“We know that Bluefield plays very scrappy. They’re great at getting balls up and getting them back over,” Jakes said. “So it really relies on our defense to pick some balls up and then we knew the only way that we could win was to really finish the ball.”

 

For Bowman, the key to all three games was her team’s poor play. The coach was upset afterwards and she was not shy about it.

 

“We should’ve beaten Covenant. We should’ve beaten them,” Bowman said. “We just were not talking. We were sending free balls out of bounds. We weren’t even sending free balls over the net. We were missing our serves. Those were very easy points that we gave.

 

“And if you noticed, all three games were within winning. If you take away those missed serves and those free balls you send out and coverage we should’ve won.”

 

Bowman went on to explain that the Lady Rams have big potential. But they also have a bad habit of playing down to lesser opponents.

 

“Last night, we played Bryan, which is the No. 1 team in the conference and we played phenomenal. We lost, but we played very, very, very well,” Bowman said.

 

“We come in today and we played a team that was not as talented as Bryan and our talent goes down with that. Our level of play goes down with whoever we play.”

 

Covenant (13-16), who had a second match Saturday against UVa-Wise, visits Tennessee Wesleyan on Tuesday.

 

“Tennessee Wesleyan, we’ll deal with them Monday,” Taylor said. “This weekend we were trying to deal with Bluefield and Wise and then Monday we’ll get ready for Wesleyan.”

 

Bluefield College (7-23) travels to Union on Thursday.

 

“We have a lot to do,” Bowman said. “We moved one of our middle hitters to the right side and this week was our first week trying that out. We really need to work on that, continue working on coverage, obviously serves and free balls. But we have a lot of work to do — especially before we play Union.”

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