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Lady Airedales Earn 'Complete' Win 9/17/21

Lady Airedales earn ‘complete’ win


By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Alma volleyball coach Kimberly Weaver dropped to her knees Thursday night. Just like that, two days of preaching had come to fruition. 


Alma didn't just sweep Van Buren in Thursday's 5A-West clash, they hardly trailed. 


And when they did, falling behind 20-17 in the third set, they pulled a rabbit out of the hat that's been missing in the program since the 2012 season. 


"They've been working hard, but I don't think they understand that always translates into competing," Weaver said. "So now, we're getting what it means to compete. This hopefully will give us confidence that whoever we step on the court with." 


Alma erased a late 20-17 deficit in the third set for a thrilling 25-23 win and evened the team's 5A-West mark at 2-2. 


The Lady Airedales' 25-21, 25-19, 25-23 victory was their first against the Lady Pointers since August 2011. 


"There was this competitive attitude that we've been preaching about and talking about where they just said, 'No, it doesn't matter who the other team is; we do have some pep on our side.' I think that made the difference," Weaver said. "The way they played position by position, the way they stepped on the court and contributed, it was really an awesome team win." 


The Lady Airedales trailed only briefly (1-0 and 2-1) in the opening set. They trailed briefly (13-10) in the second game before taking control with an 11-1 push. 


The Lady Pointers took control early in the third set for a 6-1 lead. 


But Alma began to chip away behind the stellar play of Rachel James, Rebekah McIntosh, and Jenna Williams. Libero Laila Boyd wasn't bad, either. 


James started the push with a pair of kills. 


"She has really great court vision," Weaver said. "For her to recognize the right-back was playing her shallow, she was able to attack that line. That's her volleyball IQ."


James finished with nine kills and a team-high 17 assists. Mia Nichols had seven kills, and Williams and McIntosh added seven kills each. 


Boyd and Kristen Lindley finished with 20 and 11 digs, respectively. 


Julia Nutt finished with 13 assists.