The visiting Bluffton Bobcats roared out of the gate, but Hilton Head Christian Academy rallied and rode the energy from a raucous student section in “The Cage” to a 25-21, 25-18 win in a Lowco volleyball showdown Tuesday.
Both teams warmed up with sweeps of Savannah Country Day before the main event, which had the rivals fired up from the start. The Bobcats raced out to an early six-point lead after senior Cristina Trice put down a kill on the first point and scored the second on a block to set the tone.
The Eagles clawed back, though, and the lead shifted back and forth throughout the latter part of the first set until HHCA star Abby Peduzzi took charge. A recent UNC Pembroke commit, Peduzzi showcased her skill and power with numerous key kills down the stretch, including one to finish off an epic rally featuring incredible defense on both sides of the net.
Winning the marathon point gave the Eagles the boost they needed to close out the set, as Peduzzi put down two more kills and finished it off at the service line, and HHCA carried the momentum into the second set and built an early seven-point lead before holding off the pesky Bobcats.
Peduzzi finished with 12 kills and six digs against the Bobcats and had 22 kills across both matches, while Jai’da Grayson added 12 kills (5 vs. Bluffton). Margaret Hiers and Amelia Auld combined for 39 assists, Ella Klepchick picked up 14 digs, and freshman Caitlyn Jackson served up seven aces for the Eagles, including four against Bluffton.
Trice and freshman Maya Smith led the attack for the Bobcats, and Bluffton did an excellent job on defense until Peduzzi caught fire late in the first set.
The Eagles (8-3) ran their winning streak to six games with a 3-0 sweep of crosstown rival Cross on Wednesday and continue their busy week with a road trip Thursday to face Johnson and Savannah Christian. The Bobcats (3-4) open Region 7-4A play at home Tuesday against Lucy Beckham.
By Justin Jarrett / LowcoSports@gmail.com