The St. Stephens volleyball team won its third match of the season, but Maiden didn’t make it easy on them.
After winning the first two games 25-14 and 25-19, the Lady Indians (3-0) fought tooth-and-nail with Maiden (0-1) for the third and deciding game.
St. Stephens persevered past the Blue Devils to win the game and match, 29-27.
“The last game was a nail-biter,” said Lady Indians coach Denise Mullins. “I am really proud. All the girls really showed their ability. They showed how hard they came to play.”
Leading St. Stephens in the victory were a slew of Lady Indians. Nicole Hardy had 12 kills, Breanna Hall had 10 kills and three blocks, Jenna Boliek had nine kills and Hannah Cogswell added eight kills.
Katelyn Houser assisted on 20 kills, while Abby Foster assisted on 16.
Defensively, Taylor Cummins had 18 digs and five aces.
“I feel like we did a good job of jumping out front,” Cummins said. “We were strong and fast in getting the lead. The last game, I think we may have let down our guard a little bit. In the end though, we were able to pull through.”
Despite the tough loss in their first game, Maiden coach Marsha Davis said her team had sparks of brilliance.
“I think we showed what we can do in a game,” Davis said. “We finally came together, started moving our feet and made passes where they needed to be to the setter. Our hitters came on. There were just a lot of things that came together in that third game. I think that if we can play like that all the time, we’ll be okay. It just took us a little time to get to that point.”
Uncertainty surrounded the St. Stephens team after the departure of two head coaches during the span of a month, but Cummins said the team never gave up faith.
“We kind of knew our team would be strong this year,” Cummins said. “We were expecting to have a good season. I’m happy with the situation that has ended up. It’s been working for us.”
Mullins, who was named coach after Megan Street stepped down, said she is happy with what she’s seen in her program.
“I feel blessed to have the ladies we have playing for us," Mullins said. "We have a great coaching staff, two great assistants coaches and all the talent in the world. To me, the season is ours to lose. They will be some tough matches later next week. I have the faith, though, that we’ll make it through.”