Crimsons defeat Bulldogs in close volleyball match


Dia Cohen

Mary Hoerter and Aubrey Montgomery high five on the court

Isabella Edghill, Dia Cohen

The varsity volleyball team defeated their rival Male last night. 

The game started quickly with Nya Bunton (#5,12) scoring the game-opening point for the Crimsons. By the first timeout, Manual was up 4-0. Ellie Melton (#17,11) scored back-to-back aces for the Rams. Manual won the first set 25-7.

The second set began on shaky ground for Manual, with the first point going to the Bulldogs. But the Crimsons quickly caught up thanks to a block from Mary Hoerter (#7,11). By the first timeout of the set, Manual was back in the lead, 16-9. The Crimsons maintained their healthy lead, ending the set 25-17.

The Manual Dazzlers performed their routine for the crowd between the second and third set, causing the Manual crowd to erupt into cheers in support of their dance team.

The third set opened in favor of Manual after a missed serve from the Bulldogs, but after a series of points from Male, the bulldogs pulled ahead for the first time in the game. Star players in this set for Male included Emma Jones (#9,12) and Savanah Jolly (#25, 12) who made many blocks against the Crimsons. Despite an ace from Bunton and a multi-point run late in the set, the Rams couldn’t find their footing and lost the set 23-25.

“The third and fourth sets we lost a little bit of focus and took some plays off, but overall it was a great win,” Ellie Melton (#17,11) said. 

The competitive spirit between the two schools after the Bulldogs’ comeback set was apparent to everyone in the gym. The Crimson Crazies chanted the infamous “All my life I wanna kill a Bulldog” while Male fans chanted back, insisting that Manual students are “overrated”. 

Manual came out strongly in the 4th set, with a block and a series of serves from Cecilia Roberts (#22,12). The Bulldogs were not going to go down without a fight, which was apparent when Male player Olivia Hellman (#23,12) saved ball after ball, inciting many nail biting volleys that give the sport its name. Eventually, Manual called a timeout on the brink of winning the game with a score of 24-18, and after giving up a few more points, Bunton bookends the game. Manual wins the final set 25-20.

The Crimsons also won the Freshman and JV games against the Bulldogs the previous night.