GRANVILLE — Picking up a win wasn't going to be easy for either the St. Bede or Putnam County volleyball teams in Tuesday's non-conference match.
Both squads dug hard-hit kill attempts with due diligence and battled back from early season mistakes.
However, when the sets were coming down the stretch, the Lady Bruins were able to score on their attacks and cleaned up miscues for a 26-24, 25-21 victory.
"Putnam County did a great job of going back and forth with us for basically the whole game," SBA senior outside hitter Macy Bosnich said. "We made mistakes just as much as they did. In the end, I think we came together as a team.
"A big issue with our mistakes was our communication. It was lacking tonight. But at the end, we pulled through, communicated and got the win. Communication is something we need to work on and it comes with playing more games and getting to know each other better. We have a few new players, so communication is a big thing."
In the first set, the Lady Panthers took a 3-0 lead and held it, through three ties, until SBA took a 16-15 advantage. There were four more ties at 16-16, 17-17, 22-22 and 24-24, but PC couldn't get over the hump.
After the 24-24 tie, the Lady Panthers served in the net and hit a volley into the net to give the Lady Bruins the two points needed for the first set win.
"We had a hard time getting a good pass. They served pretty well and we were out of system a lot on the first ball," PC coach Amy Bell said. "That's hard to run an offense. When we did get our offense going, good things happened.
"We also struggled a lot at the service line in the second game. That's the difference in a game that is that close."
The second set played like its predecessor as both teams battled for superiority.
PC never held a lead, but the Lady Bruins were never allowed more than a four-point advantage as there were ties at 1-1, 12-12 and 14-14.
Down the stretch, the SBA hitters continued to hit the ball hard and in the right spots as the black and green jerseys capitalized on a Bosnich kill, a PC miscue, a Kassidy Brady ace and a PC serve out of bounds to turn a 21-20 lead into a 25-21 victory for the set and the match.
"This is an early season game for both teams so you can expect what I call mishits and second guessing on what to do with the ball," SBA coach Karrie Damerell said. "We're still working out some of our kinks and changing some lineups here and there. It forces people to play next to people they haven't so far.
"I thought for the most part, we worked through the kinks pretty well tonight. Putnam County is a good team. I have a lot of respect for coach Bell, her program at Putnam County. I knew it was going to be tough coming into this gym and playing them, but I'm happy with our performance."
Both Bosnich and Damerell were pleased with the aggressiveness of the hitters.
Bosnich led the way with 10 kills, while junior Reece Ludford had nine and junior setter Elaina Wamhoff tallied 21 assists and four kills.
"Coming off of taking second at the Hall tournament (on Saturday), it was our goal to come out here and show up," Bosnich said. "I think our hitters did a good job of that, Berklee and Reece especially. Elaina gave it to Reece and almost every time it was a kill. They did a great job of putting the ball down and getting points for us."
For Bell, she was encouraged by her offense's showcase as kills from senior right side hitter Avery Lamis, junior middle hitter Sophie Harris and junior outside hitter Caitlyn Cioni — finished with four kills apiece — were tough for SBA (5-2) to stop.
However, every aspect of the game needs to be at the same level for the Lady Panthers (3-3-1).
"We have struggled at the service line early on. I think we just try to serve so aggressively that we miss in key situations," Bell said. "It's something we're working on and it's something I want them to peak at in October. I feel like we'll probably see St. Bede again in a tournament or in the postseason and I hope we come to play then.
"The mistakes we made tonight are little mistakes that happen early in the season. I expect us to be a well-oiled machine by then."