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Lady Rams Win Volleyball Battle of the Bluefields

BLUEFIELD — Takashi Franklin and her Bluefield College teammates might just as well have printed “non-returnable” on the volleyball at times Monday evening.

September 28, 2010

By TOM BONE

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

 

BLUEFIELD — Takashi Franklin and her Bluefield College teammates might just as well have printed “non-returnable” on the volleyball at times Monday evening.

 

It took four games, but the Lady Rams gradually pulled away to defeat cross-town rival Bluefield State College three games to one at the Ned Shott Gymnasium on the BSC campus in the volleyball “Battle of the Bluefields.”

 

“We’ve been craving a win,” said Franklin. “You don’t know how good it feels to win. We had to give our all.”

 

Bluefield College (4-12) overtook the Lady Blues in the first game, pulling even at 16-16 and winning 25-21. The Lady Rams got out to a five-point lead in game two, but Bluefield State (1-14) drew energy from a good-sized crowd at their home court and tied the match with a 25-23 decision.

 

Bluefield College coach Charlotte Shelton said, “I think we got a little comfortable. I told (the team) we really have to pick the intensity back up, and play to the level that we can.”

 

The visitors scored four straight points on two occasions in the third game and took the advantage 25-16. In the final encounter, BC scored six consecutive points in a decisive stretch to end the evening with a 25-20 score.

 

Franklin, a senior, provided 14 kills and five blocks.

 

“Tonight’s been one of her better nights,” Shelton said. “She’s been coming out more aggressive, mixing it up at the net and trying to be a leader on the court.”

 

Ward said, “Today it was us, so we took it from them. We’re taking it right on back home.”

 

Asked about what impact the win could have on the rest of the year, she said, “I hope this encourages us to keep going — no more Ls, all Ws. We’re going to the top. Slowly but surely.”

 

Bluefield State coach Katherine Ward met with her team and then talked to players individually after the match, and therefore was not available for a postgame interview.

 

The Lady Rams got 32 digs from Yeda Duarte. Morgan Hill had 17 digs; Cheznee Daily popped up 45 assists; and Megan Randall scored three aces.

 

The team sang “Happy Birthday” to Daily after their postgame huddle, and enjoyed a chocolate-brownie cake.

 

For Bluefield State, Annie Conklin notched 37 assists and 14 digs. Krista Motley had 19 digs and Melissa Billings added 11. Devon Amos put down 11 kills and Kiara Watkins contributed 10.

 

The Lady Blues travel to West Virginia State on Wednesday evening. Bluefield College will host another Mercer County opponent, Concord, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday before tangling with four conference schools in the first half of October.

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