BEDFORD -- Both Trinity coach Mia Langi and L.D. Bell coach Vickie Griffin were all smiles after their District 6-5A clash Tuesday.
That was hard to believe considering Bell roared back from a first-set loss to win the next three and stun the Lady Trojans, 13-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-22 at Blue Raiders Gym.
"It was a great game," said Langi, a former Trojans player in her first season as head coach. "We didn't play as well as we're capable, but we didn't play bad either and you know this is always going to be a great game when we get together."
But the Raiders had the last laugh, serving deep against Trinity's underclassmen back line and getting a strong blocking performance from Jacqy Angermiller.
That performance helped key a rally in set two before L.D. Bell held on in sets three and four.
There were 16 lead changes throughout the match, but none more important to Bell (18-12, 5-1) than a 5-3 stretch in the middle of set two.
After Maddie Castro put away two kills to give Bell a 14-13 lead, the normally reserved Griffin began to get animated.
"We've already lost to them twice this season so we kind of had that look on our face like it was about to happen again," she said. "I really don't want them to get too high or low. I always want them to be kind of even keel, but I saw some things start to come around for us."
The offense began to click and with the addition of Angermiller, who joined the team just three weeks ago, the net game was quickly even.
That's when Bell started working balls to the Trinity back line. Setter Shea Beeman started to place the ball more crisply for Castro and Meagan Koontz.
Beeman's set kill to the left back line started Bell's set two effort and got Trinity's defense off-balance.
"Honestly I didn't want to run tomorrow," Beeman said. "Coach kind of told us if we didn't get it together, that's what practice was going to be."
Whatever the motivation, it worked. Bell won set two and went on to hold an early lead in set three that it didn't relinquish.
The Raiders' effort in set four was nearly upstaged by a Trinity rally. After coming out of set two with an injury, hitter Christiana Tavo returned in set four to try and give the Trojans a spark.
Down as much as eight points, Trinity (24-6, 5-1) rallied to trade the lead three times in the final points of the match before Bell put it away.
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