Craig Harris/Macon County Times Red Boiling Springs High junior Kylee Mendes elevates for a spike.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Red Boiling Springs High junior Kylee Mendes elevates for a spike.

WESTMORELAND --The Red Boiling Springs volleyball team has consistently been in close games this season.

Last Thursday evening's match at Westmoreland proved to be a welcome relief for the Lady Bulldogs.

RBS rolled to a 25-18, 25-13, 25-7 victory over the host squad.

"We just try to play to the best of our ability no matter who (the opponent) is," Lady Bulldog senior setter Emma Rainey said. "We try to go in with an open mind."

Rainey served up the first four points of the match as RBS raced out to a 12-1 lead.

Junior teammate Jasmine Pruitte reeled off seven consecutive service points during the early onslaught, with four of those points coming thanks to unreturnable serves.

However, the Lady Eagles stormed back, pulling to within two points (14-12) thanks to a Red Boiling Springs hitting error.

"We were so built up in momentum," Rainey said. "(After losing the double-digit lead), we got our momentum back up and finally pulled it out."

Pruitte won three of her squad's final eight points in the opening game with kills.

Game one ended with a Westmoreland hitting error.

"Our game one was terrible," Butler said. "It doesn't matter what the team on the other side does.

"But we did play better in the second game."

The Lady Eagles won the first three points of the game two, but senior setter Haley Davis pushed a ball into the open court to give her squad a sideout.

Then, Rainey served up the next seven points, a stretch that included two kills by Pruitte, two aces and two unreturnable serves.

Rainey did the same thing later in game two, reeling off five consecutive service points to extend the RBS lead to 22-11.

Lady Bulldog junior middle hitter Liliana Hipolito ended the second game with a kill.

"We're doing a better job of keeping our hits in," Butler said. "Our hitting percentage last week against Jackson County was 25 percent. That's the best it's been in three years. It won't be as good tonight because of the first game.

"We like to hit as hard as we can, but that leads to hitting a lot of balls out. They are getting better at measuring it and looking at the defense on the other side (of the net) to find the open areas."

RBS (3-3 overall, 3-2 in District 6-A) was never threatened in game three as Rainey served up the first 19 points.

Senior middle hitter Harlee Birdwell won four points during that stretch - thanks to two kills and two blocks - and Pruitte had three kills during that stretch as well.

Rainey started the string with three unreturnable serves.

"She's our first server for a reason," Butler said. "She's a good setter, and a decent passer … but she's an awesome server."

Rainey added, "I just try to keep the same rhythm when I go up to serve. I get a little nervous, but I believe in my teammates to be able to get (the ball) back up."

Westmoreland responded by scoring six consecutive points, but the match eventually ended with a kill from senior Traley Dillard and a Briley Morgan jump serve that was unreturnable.

"Briley Morgan (the team's libero) is passing better than she ever has," Butler said. "She gets a touch on almost every ball. She rarely makes an error. Having that one kid that is consistent on the back row is huge.

"All of them are better defensively. We are in-system (effectively running the team's system) more this year than we've ever been."

The Lady Bulldogs have won consecutive matches for the first time this season. RBS claimed a 17-25, 25-15, 25-13, 25-18 win over visiting Jackson County one week earlier.

"We're playing more as a team," Rainey said. "We're in a groove. We have our spirits up high. That keeps us going.

"Our confidence just keeps building each time we do good."