Volleyball

Broughton volleyball drops Apex in five games

Posted August 26, 2014

Broughton defeated Apex 3-2 in a non-conference volleyball match between two of the top teams in the Triangle on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (Photo By: Nick Stevens/HighSchoolOT.com)

— Broughton Volleyball Coach Jim Freeman knew at the start of Tuesday evening’s home match against Apex that the two teams would stack up evenly. At the end of the night, he said he felt pretty lucky to come out on top.

The Capitals and Cougars battled for four closely-contested games before Apex fell flat in the fifth, allowing Broughton to take the match 3-2 (16-25, 25-19, 29-27, 19-25, 15-5).  Volleyball: Apex vs. Broughton (Aug. 26, 2014) Volleyball: Apex vs. Broughton (Aug. 26, 2014)

“I feel really fortunate to have won it,” said Freeman after the game. “They played great and we had to really fight and work to pull that out. I was really impressed by them.”

The win elevates the Caps to a 2-0 record as they prepare for their first Cap-8 Conference game Thursday afternoon at Wakefield. The Cougars, now 1-1, begin Southwest Wake Athletic Conference play Thursday at Middle Creek.

For Apex Head Coach Emily Regan, the learning experience in the early part of the season was important, despite things not going the right way for the Cougars on the scoreboard.

“We scheduled the match early,” Regan said. “I want the girls to know we’ve got stuff to do. We’re going to see them in the playoffs; I know it. It’s good that we can hang with them and beat them, and it’s about who wants it more at that point.”

The turning point of the match came in a back-and-forth third set that Broughton eventually won. Late in the game, Apex’s junior outside hitter Abigail Veit suffered an apparent ankle injury and left the match. She did not return.

The Cougars rallied behind their injured offensive weapon in the fourth game, resembling their first-set form and forcing a fifth with a 25-19 win.

“[Abigail] is one of our better players, so the girls had that motivation of, ‘Let’s do it for Abby. She went down but we’re still going to pick it up and go with it,’” said Regan. “In the fifth set, we broke down a little bit.”

Four aces from Broughton’s Kati Smith made up the first eight points for the Caps in the set as the team gained momentum and ran away to win the match. Tiana Butler’s ace was the match point that put the Caps on top.

Regan said after the game that she is hopeful for a quick return from Veit, who had no swelling in the ankle.

The Cougars appeared to be the better team through the first game, winning 25-16 behind strong offensive efforts from a healthy Veit and Allison Beckman. Each time Apex posed a threat, however, Broughton managed to rebound.

“We needed to control our emotions a little bit,” Freeman said. “To start we looked uptight and little off. Then we just kept fighting. After winning that crazy third set they came roaring out and took it to us and played really well. I don’t know what happened in the fifth set, but I feel really lucky to be on the good end of it.”

Junior Katja Ellers led Broughton with 18 kills, while Butler had 11, Adria Johnson contributed eight and Smith had six. Freeman said he was impressed with the efforts of each of his players.

“Every one of them,” Freeman said. “It was a group effort and that’s how we have to win. We can’t have on person stick out or we’ll be in trouble.”

Veit managed to lead all players with 19 kills despite not being able to finish the match. Beckman was credited with 11 while Anna Patrick had eight and Natalie White had five.

Follow Zach Mayo on Twitter at @ZachMayoHSOT

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