After not playing at all her junior year, Ridgway Christian senior Brandi Battles is making the most of her final season with the Lady Eagles.
In the deciding Game 3, Battles gave Ridgway its final two points as the Lady Eagles swept Garrett Memorial Christian 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-14) Tuesday night at the new Ridgway Christian High School.
“She’s my only senior out there,” Ridgway head coach Rick Aulds said. “She has really stepped her game up a lot this year.
“She knows this is her last year and she is making the a lot of it.”
Leading 23-14 in Game 3, Battles dialed up an ace and on the match point, her serve was returned out of bounds to give the Lady Eagles (5-2, 3-2 in Arkansas Association of Christian Schools) the win.
Battles finished with nine kills and nine aces.
The Saints had jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in Game 3, but the Lady Eagles rallied and eventually tied it at 10-10 before outscoring their opponent 15-4.
“We got a couple of girls who just took charge,” Aulds said. “We started with one lineup (for Game 3), but I put a couple of girls back in there to hit.
“They just went in there and took charge of the net.”
Sophomore Lauren Rose had eight kills for the Lady Eagles.
The match was pretty even between the two teams — especially in Game 1. The Saints had a 14-11 lead at one point but the Lady Eagles went on a 4-1 run to tie the game at 15.
Aulds said Ridgway has a bad habit of having sluggish starts to matches.
“We start out every match not communicating and it usually takes us a while to get going,” Aulds said. “We get five or six points behind and then we start communicating and come in there at the end.”
In Game 2, Ridgway led 17-13 before going on an 8-3 run to win 25-16.
“We got a couple of players who are new and are trying to get aggressive at the net,” Aulds said. “We have to force the ball a little bit, and not wait on the other team.”
Ridgway will travel to El Dorado on Thursday to face West Side Christian with the junior varsity game beginning at 5 p.m.
In the junior varsity game, Ridgway defeated Garrett Memorial 2-1 (25-14, 21-25, 25-16). Allison Carpenter, who also plays at the varsity level, had five kills in the match.
Ridgway improves to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the AACS.