Crestview junior Kaylee Woldford going for a kill on Thursday night against Bluffton in Convoy. Wolford had 7 kills in the NWC sweep. (DHI Media/ Tina Eley)
Crestview junior Kaylee Woldford going for a kill on Thursday night against Bluffton in Convoy. Wolford had 7 kills in the NWC sweep. (DHI Media/ Tina Eley)

CONVOY — The Crestview volleyball team bounced back from early-in-the-week losses to Parkway and Columbus Grove with an impressive Thursday night win over Bluffton 25-13, 25-13, 25-18. The Lady Knights are now 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the Northwest Conference. The Lady Pirates are 1-7 and 0-2.

“We had two rough matches already this week, and we could’ve just continued to ride that out, but I was real pleased with how the girls reacted, stepped on the court ready to go, thinking this is the team that we hafta focus on right now,” said Crestview coach Tammy Gregory.

Crestview led throughout the first and second sets, and there was never much doubt about the outcome of either one. There was, however, a momentum change late in the second set that was indicative of things to come.

With the Knights up 17-3, Bluffton suddenly came alive. A kill by sophomore Taylor Schwab, a Crestview error, and two service aces by senior Arielle O’Neal made up a 4-0 Pirate run that didn’t seem to mean much at the time. However, the visitors actually continued to play almost evenly with the Knights from that point on.

There were seven ties and four lead changes in the third set. At 15-all, however, things started to come apart again for Bluffton. Four straight Pirate errors gave the home team a 19-15 lead. Another Schwab kill cut it to 19-16, but three more Pirate errors stretched the lead to 22-16, and it was no longer in doubt.

If there was anything Coach Gregory wasn’t too happy with, it was that momentum change late in the second set.

“I’m constantly telling them we’ve gotta focus, because it’s so easy to lose focus at those times (with big leads), thinking we’ve got this game won, just getting really relaxed,” said Gregory. “That’s where we have to over-emphasize what we’re doing on the court. The big word is focus for our girls — and consistency. That’s kinda where we’ve lacked this year, as we’re allowing these teams to make these runs.”

The Knights were led in kills by juniors Lexi Gregory, Kaylee Wolford, and Lauryn Black with 9, 7, and 5. Crestview got some solid serving from Black (16 of 17, two aces), senior Avery McCoy (12 of 14, three aces), and Lexi Gregory (12 of 12). McCoy and junior setter Maddy Lamb led in assists with 13 and 10. Black led in digs with 10.