A slow start did not stop the Sacred Heart volleyball team as they beat Crest Ridge 25-27, 25-20, 25-11.
Crest Ridge jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first game before the Gremlins fought back to tie it 8-8.
Sacred Heart made a change in formation after the shaky start, moving Hannah Orell from setter to defense.
“We needed better passes,” said Sacred Heart coach David Fall. “We had been running her as a set. At the end of game one, we pulled her to play defense all the time. That helped, having that strong defender all the time.”
The teams then traded points with Sacred Heart briefly taking the lead. After Kaylee Schmidli put Crest Ridge up 15-14 with a kill, Sacred Heart’s Hannah Wilhoit registered kills on the next four points to put the Gremlins ahead 18-15.
The Gremlins led 20-18 before Crest Ridge answered back to take a 24-22 lead. The Cougars eventually closed out the set with an ace.
In the second set, it was Sacred Heart jumping out to the quick 3-0 lead, including an ace from Anna Callis. The Gremlins led 11-4 before the Cougars rallied to make it 11-8.
The Gremlins eventually closed that set with kills from Wilhoit and Callis and an ace from Annalise Mergen.
The Gremlins controlled the third set early. Back-to-back kills from Wilhoit helped make it 6-1 Sacred Heart. Wilhoit, Laura Wadley and Callis then registered kills to put the Gremlins up 12-3. Crest Ridge never got closer than seven points the rest of the way. Wilhoit took advantage of over-passes from the Cougars to get a few more kills and Addy Wright finished the game with an ace.
Wilhoit and Callis each finished with 19 kills. Wilhoit had three kill-blocks. Callis had two digs and three aces. Mergen had 29 assists. Wright had 11 digs.
Crest Ridge won the junior varsity game in three sets.
Sacred Heart will open Kaysinger Conference play on Tuesday at Otterville.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles