Titans open with sweep

Published 11:57 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Class 2A Sabine Pass was one point away from setting its own tone in Tuesday’s season-opening volleyball match at 5A newcomer Port Arthur Memorial.

Then, Memorial saw an opportunity.

The Titans capitalized on a serving error with five straight and found all the momentum they needed to take a three-game sweep, 26-24, 25-17, 25-19.

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“It was a very big comeback,” Memorial’s Nayla Brazile said. “I was proud of my team, the way we were able to push through. We had heart this game.”

The Sharks erred on the potential winning serve, and the Titans eventually got a block from Brazile to tie the game. Vern’Nequia Davis made the winning return.

“It was amazing,” Memorial coach Bianca Dixon said. “Sometimes, you have to let the girls fight through, and that’s what I wanted to see. I wanted them to dig down deep and be able to want the win as much as they wanted it. After the light bulb clicked, we were able to get some good serves from Anyia Duhon, and it kind of changed the flow of the game.”

The Titans didn’t completely dominate until midway through the

second set, when they surged from a 10-8 deficit to build a 23-16 lead. That was when the match was paused for about 15 minutes to determine whether they had served out of turn. It was ruled the Titans didn’t.

Brazile, though, said the delay made Memorial want to “push harder” to win.

Memorial rode the performance of its front line in the victory, racing to an 11-3 edge and leading by as much as 22-11. Dixon said the blockers had to step up and play well against Sabine Pass sophomore Korie Dominick.

“That made my front line have to defend and kill the ball,” Dixon said.

Dominick, a second-year varsity player, earned the captaincy on a team that has three seniors.

The Sharks made one last rally before the Titans finished them off. Even in defeat, Sharks coach Andie Myers saw good things from her team.

“We had a high spirit,” Myers said. “We did not give up. I’m so proud of my girls tonight. We played a scrimmage Friday, and the change from then to today? Completely phenomenal.”

Myers took over the team this season for Kelsey Bates, who gave birth to a boy on Friday, and she was ready for the challenge.

“I had to be prepared,” she said. “I had to get ready, knowing in my mind I had to know what two-a-days were going to be like, what drills I could run with these girls and conditioning, and we did it. And I’m so proud of the girls. Kelsey was a big help to me. Up until the day she had that baby, she was helping me with everything.”

No statistics were available.

Memorial will visit West Orange-Stark on Friday. Sabine Pass begins play in the Baytown tournament on Thursday.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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