Cameron edges Bishop LeBlond in five-set thriller
The Cameron Lady Dragon Volleyball Team picked up their first Midland Empire Conference victory after in a five-set grudge match against Bishop LeBlond.
Looking to avenge a first-round 2019 district tournament loss to the Lady Eagles, and facing an early deficit, the Lady Dragons came out on top after taking the second, fourth and fifth set, 24-26, 25-12, 16-25, 25-17 and 15-13, last Thursday.
“I had anxiety about last year’s game and how bad we played. We were seeking revenge and they did it,” Cameron coach Addie Floyd said. “I am very proud of them. We were winning that first set and we won’t talk about that third set, but everything else was fantastic. No matter how well we played, Bishop LeBlond has always come back to beat us. This has been a long time coming.”
Following a first set implosion, with LeBlond overcoming an 11-5 deficit, the Lady Dragons rebounded in the second set after going on an 8-0 tear on kills by junior outside hitter Avery McVicker, an ace by senior outside hitter Aly Yates and a few timely mistakes by the Lady Eagles. Cameron continued throttling Bishop LeBlond until a kill by senior middle blocker Ashley Mitchell mercifully brought the set to an end 25-12.
“It doesn’t matter how long it took or how many sets we played. We just wanted to win. It felt good to finally beat them. They’ve kind of been a rival.” McVicker said.
After being on the receiving end of a one-sided beatdown in the third set, falling 25-16, the Lady Dragons regrouped for a 25-17 victory with junior setter Natalie Garr making a few crucial point-saving digs before finalizing the victory with a kill on match point.
“I’ve been working on my timing and that’s helped a lot and working on communication,” Garr said. “We were being energetic and hyping each other up (in the fifth set). Volleyball is such a mental sport.”
Cameron and Bishop LeBlond traded points in the fifth set until an ace by Mitchell gave the Lady Dragons. A kill by freshman outside hitter Eme Teel and a pair of costly mistakes by the Lady Eagles set up a game-deciding kill by McVicker, 15-13, evening the Lady Dragons to 6-6 overall and 1-4 in MEC play. Although picking up their first conference victory of the season, Floyd said the Lady Dragons have their eyes set on the district tournament.
“We have a hard district. I’m not going to lie, we have a hard district, but anything can happen. We proved that last Saturday against Maryville, where we went 22-25 against them,” Floyd said. “Right now, it’s looking like Maryville is going to be the top seed in districts. We could easily turn that district around even though we may be coming out with a low seed.”