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Trojans lose to Pender in five sets

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By Michael Paul, Sports Editor

 The West Brunswick volleyball team lost in five sets to the Pender Patriots on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the final match of the regular season.

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Pender is the champion of the Class 2A/1A Four County Conference (13-1) and finishes the regular season 17-6.

West, which finished 2-10 in the Mideastern 4A/3A Conference, is 8-12 overall.

Pender won the first two sets 25-23 and 28-26. West forced a fifth set after 25-14, 25-20 victories. Pender won the final set 15-8.

The first set was tied 23-23 but Pender gained a point on an errant West serve and won the set on an ace.

In the second set, Pender 23-21 but a Patriot error led to a sideout. An ace by Breanna Benton and kill by Meeka Hewett gave West a 24-23 lead. An errant Trojan hit error on set point and a Patriot ace put Pender ahead 25-24.

An errant Pender serve on match point tied the score 25-25. With the score tied 26-26, West was unable to return a serve, and Pender then held serve to win the set for a 2-0 lead.

The Trojans dominated the third set. Bethany Morrison held serve for four points as West built a 16-12 lead. After Pender scored a point, a kill by Olivia Babson led to a sideout. Babson hit two aces in a 4-0 run that put West ahead 20-13.

With the score 21-14, Benton held serve in a 4-0 run — Hewett had two kills — and West won the set.

West led 20-19 in the fourth set and broke a Pender serve on a kill by Nicole Phillips.  She hit two aces for a 23-19 lead. After Pender scored a point, a dink by Babson and a kill by Babson off a pass from Katie Simmons won the set.

Pender controlled most of the tied-breaking set. It led 8-3 and 13-6 en route to the victory.

The match was the last regular-season one at home for seniors Babson, Hewett and Phillips.

Babson, a middle blocker, averaged 13 kills, seven digs and service points this season. She will attend BCC next season.

Hewett, an outside hitter, averaged nine digs and eight kills. She is undecided about which college she will attend.

Phillips, a middle blocker, averaged seven kills and seven service points. She will attend William Peace University in Raleigh. Former Trojan Miriah Milliken is a member of the Pacers, who have won 20 matches this season.