Ashburn, Va (September 1, 2015) – The Stone Bridge Bulldogs (2-0) hosted the Heritage Pride (1-3) tonight in a match that was decided early. Before the first point of the evening Stone Bridge benefited on the injury front. Defensive specialist Ryley Gill returned to action for the first match of the season while Heritage’s starting middle Skyla Richardson was sidelined with a sprained ankle. Heritage’s small roster was left with nine active players, which proved too little against a balanced bulldog offense.
Game one opened up with a combination of tough serves from Stone Bridge senior Angela Tender, multiple kills by senior Ashlyn Dunlop and tough net play including a block kill from fellow senior Dejia Danhi. This senior combination led to an 8-1 lead by the bulldogs and they never looked back. Heritage, however, refused to back down fighting back to 9-7 thanks to solid defensive play by junior libero Madison Eudy and a monster block kill by Heritage Freshman Anjali Amazigo. The pride pulled up to 12-13. Stone Bridge battled back thanks to multiple kills by Dunlop and tough defense at the net pulled out to 17-11 and Heritage’s first timeout. Game one ended with a block kill at 23-13 and Abby DeVido serving one of her four aces in the match to bring it to 24-14. A hitting error by Heritage ended game one 25-15.
Game two opened with great digs by Heritage’s senior Brittany Crammer and a solid kill by senior Peyton Hersey to tie it at 2-2. Stone Bridge’s Danhi began making her height a key difference in the match not only with a block kill but multiple block attempts that frustrated the pride’s offense. However an uncharacteristically high number of errors by the bulldogs kept the game tight. Stone Bridge kept the lead but they could not shake the pride as the score stayed too close for comfort. Stone Bridge senior Cailin Zura had some timely kills during this stretch of the game as did Heritage’s Hersey but the pride found themselves down 15-10 when they called their first timeout of game two. Stone Bridge began to spread out the offense with a total of seven different recorded kills during the match, and with Tender’s serving they pulled ahead 19-10 and eventually won game two 25-15.
In game three Stone Bridge brought in senior Maddie Ashwell for defensive play and serving that helped Stone Bridge take a quick lead before great defense and an ace by Heritage’s Crammer tied it up at 3-3. Stone Bridge’s Caitlin Zura had another of her game high 9 kills followed by a block kill by bulldog sophomore Caroline Burnett propelled the bulldogs to an 11-6 lead. Stone Bridge switched to a 6-2 with sophomore Katey Muskett as the second setter which allowed Tender to not only set but also attack, which she did finishing the night with four kills. If there was one play that demonstrated the kind of night the Heritage Pride was having, it was in game three when Pride’s Hersey had a line shot that was dug up by Muskett in what was the defensive play of the match. Stone Bridge would win game three 25-14 and take the match three games to zero.
Afterwards Heritage head coach Allison Smith stated that she was proud of how her girls performed against notorious Stone Bridge. She singled out Peyton Hersey, who was coming off of a 31 killformance last night and is leading by example. Libero Madison Eudy also did an outstanding job in defense against a team that was attacking from every direction. Coach Smith is excited about the season ahead, getting middle hitter Skyla back and seeing how the team improves over the season.
The Heritage Pride are in action tomorrow home against Woodgrove, match starts at 7:00
Stone Bridge play again next Tuesday at Langley, match starts at 7:15.