Chelsea sweeps Homewood to open area play with win

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CHELSEA – The Chelsea volleyball team opened area play with an impressive showing on its home court against Homewood on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The Hornets found themselves in tight sets in the first and third set, but pulled off the win in both while also winning the second set going away to claim a 3-0 (25-23, 25-10, 26-24) win over the Patriots to improve to 1-0 in area play.

In the opening set, Chelsea faced adversity on a couple of different occasions, but fought through it to gain confidence early in the match.

Early on, Homewood stormed out to a 5-1 lead and quickly stole the momentum of the match through the first few points. After falling behind 7-3, however, the Hornets put together an 8-2 run to regain the lead at 11-9.

The Patriots responded with what looked to be a set-changing 9-1 run. With that swift change in momentum, Homewood took a 19-13 lead in the opening set.

Chelsea started to regain its composure shortly after, but it still looked like it wouldn’t be enough as the Patriots took a late 23-17 lead and were two points away from set point.

That, however, was the final point Homewood scored in the set. Chelsea went on to reel off eight straight points for a 25-23 win behind strong play from several, including a few clutch kills from Hope Wright and Amaya Rudolph among other key plays.

Chelsea used that confidence from the first set to propel a strong showing in the second set as well.

Despite losing the opening point of the set, the Hornets won the next four in a row and never trailed again after taking an early 4-1 lead.

Homewood got as close as 4-3, but Chelsea responded with a 5-0 run to jump out to a 9-3 lead and led by at least four points the rest of the way.

After taking a 15-9 lead, the big difference in the set came when Anna Sartin stepped to the service line and created even more separation by leading the Hornets to a 7-0 run.

That gave them a 22-9 lead, and after Homewood ended that run, Morgan Martin closed out the final two points shortly after with an ace and a strong serve the Patriots struggled to handle, leading to a 25-10 set victory.

Fighting to stay alive, Homewood came out in the final set and looked poised to force a fourth set. The Patriots jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, but on par with the rest of the night, Chelsea answered every Homewood run with a better run.

The Hornets responded with a 7-2 run to tie the set at 8-8.

From there, however, Homewood led throughout the set, eventually extending the lead to 21-17, before claiming set point at 24-20.

After staving off set point, Wright stepped to the line and the Hornets came through with some clutch play. The Hornets won three long rallies in a row in a stretch of intense play that saw several big digs and point-saving plays.

Eventually the Hornets pulled to match point at 25-24 after a stellar comeback. Homewood won the next point to tie the match again at 25-25, but Chelsea had gained all of the momentum and closed out the next two points for a 27-25 win to complete the 3-0 sweep.

With the win, the Hornets improved to 8-3 overall and 1-0 in area play.