The Bishop Verot Girls’ Volleyball team took on the First Baptist Academy(FBA) in the Vikings last home match of the year. And what a show they put on.

Behind an enthusiastic crowd, the Vikings and a strong FBA team (8-2 coming into the night) opened the match in a back and forth manner, with no team taking more than a 3 point lead early on. The Vikings controlled the pace of play with a dominant front line featuring Jules Schwartz and Diana Akhmetova along with some staunch defense provided by Jane Smith, Analia Perry, and Lindsey Walsh. 

The middle of the 1st game featured a series of runs by each team. FBA ran off 6 straight points, much of it was provided by what was a common theme through the rest of the first game: Vikings’ unforced court and service errors. With FBA ahead 15-9, the Vikings battled back, highlighted by DeLayney Shovlin’s 9 consecutive service points, to take the lead 19-18.

But the inconsistent play of the Vikings allowed FBA to stick around, and although the Vikings dominated the front line defensively and offensively, BVHS gave away several points on unforced errors and several misplaced back sets.Tied 23-23 FBA won an exciting back and forth match, 25-23, with the last two points scored on -- an unforced error and a service ace.

The beginning of game 2 could have been predicted, even without a crystal ball. The young Vikings squad, primarily made up of freshmen, came out flat after the tough loss and found themselves down early 6-2. However Coach Leonard, got a big time spark from Taylor Hedge through her serving expertise and her all round excellent court coverage and setting.  Hedge’s spark along with the reemergence of the front line dominance of Ella Portu, Gabby Gear, and Lillie Layne, allowed BVHS to forge ahead. FBA fought back, but some deft serving from Brenna Nelson and some great net play from Jules Schwartz kept the Vikings comfortably ahead. Ella Portu finished off the match with an array of monster hits and dinky dunks at the net to propel the girls to an impressive, total team driven 25-18 win.

In the deciding game of the match, the depth of the Vikings was evident early on. Behind the serving of Lilly Layne, the Vikings went ahead 7-1. The back line defense of Analia Perry, Jane Smith and Lindsay Walsh kept FBA at bay, and the superior play of Lillie Layne, Gabby Gear, and Brooke Brazley stoked the Vikings offense to a 15-7 game 3 victory.  

The Vikings are now 5-3 and have 2 more away matches to conclude the year. With a very strong freshmen core, excellent coaching, and a great team chemistry, it could be clear sailing and new territories to conquer for the young Vikings in the years to come!

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