Stars Go Back-to-Back with 4-set Victory Over Eastern

BNL’s Merritt Callahan punches the ball past Eastern Greene’s net defenders. The Stars won their second straight match, topping the Thunderbirds in four sets on Monday night.

By Justin Sokeland

(BEDFORD) – Bedford North Lawrence acted like it had done this before. And recently, it has. Isn’t winning wonderful?

The Stars, winning tough points against a scrappy opponent, recorded rare back-to-back victories, conquering stubborn Eastern Greene in four sets on Monday night. Two straight isn’t exactly a streak, but it beats the alternative.

BNL rushed to a great start, then traded spurts and splats with the Thunderbirds before posting a 25-17, 27-25, 26-28, 25-16 triumph. The Stars (3-17) weren’t in a hurry for this one, taking almost 2 1/2 hours to pound out a feel-good victory.

“It feels like we’re on a high right now,” junior Haley Deckard said. “We hit the bottom, but now there’s nowhere to go but up. It was very needed. Winning boosts our morale.”

Some moments were amazing, like that 17-2 opening burst, fueled by 11 straight service points by Myla Bergman, or the back-to-back-to-back exquisite points from Carlee Kern (a block for a point), Brynlea Bennett (a tremendous stab save) and Kern again (another block) for the final three points of the second set.

BNL’s Haley Deckard challenges Eastern’s Kendall Moffitt above the net.

Some were frustrating, like the fact Eastern (4-19) cut into that 17-2 deficit in the first, like the fact Eastern erased BNL’s 18-11 advantage in the third to stay alive. Bottom line? BNL has come off the bottom. The fourth set lacked drama as BNL raced to a 10-4 lead and cruised from there, finally finishing with a Deckard kill.

“We won, the kids are doing well, we’re progressing,” BNL coach Jordan Robbins said. “We’re glad to have another win. Eastern wasn’t a team that was going to roll over.”

The Thunderbirds were defensive wizards, making improbable saves when BNL connected for what looked like put-away points. Indy Workman had an incredible number of digs (34), and freshman Kendall Moffitt had a headache serve (4 aces). But Eastern lacked net firepower, and that’s where BNL took advantage.

Kern had 10 kills, part of her all-around game with 23 digs and 9 service points. “When we can get her a good set, and she has confidence in herself, it’s tough to defend that” Robbins said.

Merritt Callahan was 19 of 19 serving with 10 points, 13 digs and 17 assists, Bergman was 24 of 25 serving with 5 aces, 14 points and 14 digs, and Annie Waggoner was 15 of 16 serving with 6 kills, 11 assists and 15 digs.

The Stars will visit Columbus North on Tuesday.

BNL’s Annie Waggoner guides the ball past Eastern’s Sam Fulford and Riley Kieft.