Southside found a weakness in Greenwood’s back row and stepped on the gas Thursday night.
But it was the play of junior Sarita Stegall that kept the Confederettes rolling in a big way.
Stegall had 32 assists and middle blocker Drew Jones had a dozen kills to power the Confederettes to a 25-19, 25-15, 25-14 win over the Lady Bulldogs at Southside Gym.
Brie Waller helped cap a late run in the opener with four late kills, and Stegall set the ton in the next two matches with an array of sharp passes and no-look tips.
“Brie had some big kills early that got us going,” Southside coach Steve Haaser said. “But I think it all goes back to Sarita Stegall, too. You don’t even notice her out there, but without her we’re very, very average. She really elevates the play of everybody.”
Greenwood (7-4, 2-3 7A/6A-Central ) tied the second game at 12 before Mackenzie King’s kill, Jamie Tipton’s ace and Stegall’s no-look tip started a clinching 13-3 run.
Southside (8-0, 5-0) kept Greenwood at bay with a number of big runs.
“From my standpoint, it (Southside runs) was in certain rotation every time,” Greenwood coach Jennifer Golden said. “That definitely gives us a chance to say, ‘Hey, what is it about this and what can we do to tweak it?’ (But) you have to give them (Southside) credit.”
Jones had five of her 12 kills in the third game, which saw Southside turn an 11-9 lead into a 20-9 blowout. King and Claire Wilson had eight kills apiece for the Confederettes.
“It’s really exciting and it’s a good group of girls,” Wilson said. “We’re playing really well right now, but there are always things we can work on. I think we’re not at our peak yet.”
Playing without one of its middle blockers, sophomore Mia Robbins, Southside turned to junior Alyssa Wallace who had a key block and a kill in the Lady Feds’ first game.
“We have confidence in her; she’s a good player,” Haaser said. “She’s only 5-8 and she was up against 6-3 and 6-1 players. She’s more of an outside hitter, but she was next in line and she stepped in there and did a good job.”
Three straight aces by Tipton helped start Southside on a nice run in the opener, although Maddie Gilliam — who led Greenwood with eight kills — had back-to-back aces along with two kills by Courtne Climer to pull the Lady Bulldogs within 21-19.
But a block by Wallace and Waller’s clincher finished off the opener.
Kills by Erin black and Caroline Scott helped Greenwood rally to tie the second game at 9.
But balanced hitting by Southside, with King, Stegall, Wilson and Jones adding kills, helped Southside pull away.
Another ace by Tipton, a block by Jones and kills by King and Lexi Robertson capped Southside’s fifth consecutive 7A/6A-Central sweep.
“I think that’s what it takes to have a good team now days,” Haaser said. “You’ve got to have balance. You can’t rely on one or two players, and that’s kind of been our secret so far, with the balance that we’ve shown so far.”