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The annual crosstown rival between the Bob Jones and James Clemens volleyball programs continued Tuesday night at James Clemens. Photo- Bob Labbe

The Whole Story- Bob Jones Defeats James Clemens In Volleyball Rival

MADISON- The annual shootout between the volleyball teams at Bob Jones and James Clemens recently renewed its rivalry at James Clemens. The Jets hosted the Patriots in a key Area 7 matchup. The visiting Pats defeated the host Jets 25-20, 13-25, 25-11, 25-18 to earn bragging rights until the next time the two programs meet, which could come in post-season play.

“We relaxed and played good volleyball after a slow start as key players Adeline Barnes and Emily Mecklenburg both played well for us,” said Cassie Mullinax head coach of Bob Jones.

“We are not being consistent and until we master the fact of being consistent an entire game we will continue to struggle,” said Amanda Wood head coach of James Clemens. “We showed some good play and never gave up, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Bob Jones is now 28-8 overall and 4-0 in area play. James Clemens dropped to 20-18 and 1-2.

The first game had James Clemens take the lead late into the matchup before Bob Jones rattled off the last seven consecutive points using power and finesse, including a one-handed tip over the net for the winning points. Game two featured the Pats utilizing much of its bench most of the game and the Jets took advantage by opening a 9-nothing lead. Briana Smith had a couple nice one-handed dinks over the net for points, numerous deep-court saves and near-perfect defense propelled the Jets to a 12-point victory.

In game three, Bob Jones opened an early lead, which was highlighted by All-State junior Adeline Barnes who had an awesome one-handed almost backward shot just over the net and out of reach of a diving, out-stretched James Clemens defender to give the Pats a 10-5 lead. Later in the match, the Jets presented what may be their best work of the night when a deep-court save was put back into play near the net where senior Anna Jupin was waiting and presented the Pats with a point-winning kill. The Jets were manhandled to a final score of 25-11.

In the fourth game, Jupin again provided offensive and defensive firepower to help James Clemens to an early 4-3 lead, but inconsistent play by the Jets throttled Bob Jones to a 14-9 lead and the Pats never looked back to a 25-18 victory. The best volley of the match came when Bob Jones scored to take a 10-7 lead as both teams showed incredible skills on both sides of the net in keeping the ball in play. The Bob Jones match victory was capped off with a kill by Natalie Parks.

“I don’t think we have arrived,” added Mullinax of her Patriots. “We’re still working to get better and one of our key players in the middle, Jada Burks, was injured and did not play so for us to come out with confidence and not panic I thought we did pretty good.”

“We’re just trying to dig in our heels right now and no lead is too big to overcome,” said Wood of her squad. “We just need to learn to go up by 10 instead of being down 10 at the beginning of a game. I thought Briana Smith and Catherine Gwin played well for us tonight. Right now you don’t know which team is going to show up. Right now we’ve got to harness in finishing a game. I just need them to reach their full potential.”

Area Tournaments begin play Oct. 12 with the AHSAA State Tournament scheduled for Oct. 26-28 in Birmingham.

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