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Brighton volleyball goes the distance against South Boston

Posted by Justin Rice  October 2, 2013 05:24 PM

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Brighton senior Reyna Joint bumps the ball over the net in the fifth set of her squad's victory against South Boston. (Justin A. Rice / For the Boston Globe).

After pulling out a tight five-set match against South Boston Wednesday afternoon on the road, the Brighton girls’ volleyball team is one win shy of matching its victory total from last season.

“And we still have 10 more [matches] left,” second-year coach Briea McDaniels said after beating South Boston, 3-2, in the Knights’ shoebox of a gymnasium. “It’s a very encouraging feeling, it shows my girls that they have the potential and ability to beat some of the better teams, and we just did.

“We split with South Boston; they won one game and we won one game, so we’re on our way.“

The Bengals (3-5) got swept in three sets in the first meeting of the season against South Boston. This time, they fell behind early, too, losing the first set, 25-22, before coming back to win the second, 25-12.

“The thing we had to do was communicate between each other and help each other out and together we were able to help each other out and have each other's backs and get the ball over the net,” Brighton senior Reyna Joint said.

“It feels really great. I feel really proud of them. We came together as a team and go for every ball that we could and hit the ball over the net.”

After losing the third set, 25-14, Brighton tied it at two sets apiece by winning the fourth, 25-15.

In the decisive fifth set, Brighton took a 6-2 lead before South Boston cut it to 7-4. South Boston scored the first 2 points after the teams switched sides to cut Brighton’s lead to 8-6 but Brighton went on a 4-0 run to go up, 12-6.

South Boston could muster only 2 more points the rest of the way as Brighton won the fifth set, 15-8.

“We’re getting better, we’re doing what we need to do now,” McDaniels said. “I’m excited for them, I’m excited. I’m very, very happy. “

McDaniels said she’s always known her team had it in them.

“Just believing in them and teaching them to believe in each other and just trust the process,” she said. “It works.”

On Monday, South Boston (3-4) won a five-setter against Charlestown.

“That would have been exciting,” South Boston coach Mary Linehan said of the prospect of winning two five-setters in one week. “That would have been very exciting but I give the kids credit, we didn’t give up."

“They gave us a good fight. They won, so that’s pretty good. We play [Burke] tomorrow and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow. It’s one of those things; a loss, it’s not the end of the world. We’ll be there tomorrow and hopefully we’ll win it in three tomorrow.“

When informed that South Boston won in five sets earlier in the week, McDaniels said it was the first time her team went the distance.

“Now we can do a five-setter, too,” she said.

Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public School athletics. He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.

About Boston Public Schools Sports Blog

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.