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Tunstall sweeps Magna Vista
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Magna Vista’s Morgan Stone (11) attempts a kill while Tunstall’s Taylor Wray (19) and Corbin Holder (12) look to block it Tuesday in Ridgeway. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

By DAVID REYNOLDS - Bulletin Sports Editor

Tunstall volleyball coach Matt Beard doesn’t call very many timeouts, saying he prefers to let his players work out issues on their own rather than talk them through problems on the sidelines.

And through two and a half sets Tuesday in Ridgeway, Beard’s strategy was working pretty well. Despite a couple briefs bumps along the way, his Trojans cruised in taking the first two sets from Magna Vista and were on the cusp of closing out the sweep.

But after a 6-0 run by the Warriors late in the third left put his team in danger of being extended to a fourth and possibly a fifth set, Beard decided he couldn’t wait any longer. He signaled to the referee for his first timeout of the match, and he accomplished in the huddle what substitutions and encouragement from the bench could not.

“I just asked them if they wanted it,” Beard said.

“We’ve been having trouble closing games out. … I told them that once we got some serves in we had a chance to win this game. And we did.”

Tunstall went on to win eight of the next 10 points, and the Trojans came away with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Magna Vista to even their record to 1-1 in the district and 9-6 overall.

And after a set with several THS service errors, the Trojans heeded Beard’s advice in clinching the win. Tunstall’s last four points came directly off the Warriors’ inability to handle THS senior Taylor Wray’s serve.

“We had the momentum going our way for the most part until that last game,” Tunstall’s Corbin Holder said. “But the serves were good. We actually got them in some.”

Holder and teammate Brittany Brumfield gave the Warriors fits all game long, with Holder racking up 10 points, four kills and a block in three sets. Brumfield matched her point for point, finishing with 11 points and four aces.

As for Magna Vista (5-5, 1-2 Piedmont District), the Warriors were done in by a slow start and several lulls in energy in the second and third games.

Tunstall raced out to a 5-0 lead en route to taking the first game easily, and the Trojans used an 8-0 run to take control of the second set.

The Warriors held a 4-0 lead in the second set and even rallied to an 18-17 lead, but Tunstall’s serves and spikes curbed the Magna Vista burst enough to hold on for the win.

“We just didn’t have any intensity. It seemed like we were going through the motions and playing ball, which is frustrating because we can be close, 25-22,” Magna Vista coach Jess France said. “And to think, if we just would have had a little more intensity, a little more passion, it may have been different.”

The Warriors were led by Maegan Sutphin, who notched six blocks, six kills, five service points and three digs in the match.

Also for Magna Vista, Morgan Stone finished with eight service points, five digs, four kills and three aces, and teammate Hannah Savedge tallied six kills, six service points, three digs and a block.

Tunstall came into the match still weary from its five-set defeat to Bassett on Thursday, and it started to show in the third set. After showing dominance for much of the match, Tunstall yielded a 6-0 run to Magna Vista late in the third set that put the Trojans behind 20-17.

But Beard’s timeout gave Tunstall the spark it needed, and the Trojans were able to close it out. Tunstall played the match without Kelsey Van Asch, who injured her knee and will be out the rest of the season.

“We were tired from last week, and we didn’t get to practice yesterday or anything, so we kind of just did what we could,” Holder said. “Especially in the Piedmont, we can’t afford to lose another one.”


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