MAGNOLIA — St. Thomas More put up a good fight against Holly Grove Christian in an ESIAC volleyball match on Oct. 16, but the visiting Eagles left Magnolia with a 3-0 sweep.
Holly Grove jumped out early, taking a 5-1 lead in the first on a kill by Shelby Zink. The lead grew to six points at 11-5 on a back-line kill, but the Ravens battled back. A service error and a hitting error on Holly Grove, sandwiched around a Kayla Cornejo kill, cut the deficit to 11-8.
Brianna Altidor scored consecutive points on a block and a kill to bring St. Thomas More to within one at 13-12, but that was as close as they would get. The Eagles scored five of the next six, withstood a mini-run by the Ravens, and went on to the win.
The second set was close throughout, tied 10 times. The Ravens went up 13-10 after an Altidor kill and an ace from Josselyn Southard, but the Eagles rebounded with six straight of their own. Altidor went down the right side to end that streak, but Harley McNure answered with a smash of her own as Holly Grove took a 17-14 lead.
St. Thomas More did not give in, knotting the score on a kill from Kira Manuszak, and a minute later it was tied for the last time, at 20 apiece. Holly Grove ran the table after that, scoring the final five points on an unforced Ravens error, a cross from Alicia Pinchak, a Natalie Parks ace, a net violation on St. Thomas More, and another Parks ace.
The third set was back and forth early on. After Mia Lynch opened the frame with an ace, the teams worked their way to a 4-4 tie. The Ravens then went on their longest run of the evening, scoring the next six. Rider contributed two aces during the streak, and Altidor tipped one into an open spot on the floor.
Trailing by seven, the Eagles bounced back with six consecutive points of their own, including back-to-back Parks aces. Holly Grove finally caught the Ravens at 14-14 when Zink won a battle at the net, and she gave them the lead on the next point with a kill. The Eagles would close it out from there.
Final statistics were not available Thursday morning. St. Thomas More (5-8) wraps up the home schedule on Monday when Middletown visits for a 6 p.m. start.