Dreads Take Down Chelsea 3-1 in Dig Pink Game


Despite of the change in conferences by Dexter this season, the rivalry between the Dreadnaughts and Chelsea is still as a must win on the calendar for both schools and it showed Thursday night.

Chelsea hosted Dexter in their annual Dig Pink game for breast cancer awareness in front a large and boisterous crowd and it was a battle from the opening serve.

Large student sections were on hand for both teams and in the Chelsea-Dexter match-up and that means that things were loud and cheers were fired back and forth at each other.

The loud crowds propelled the teams with huge momentum swings throughout the game in which Chelsea capitalized on in the first set.

Dexter took a 13-9 lead in the opening set, but after the Bulldogs took a timeout the momentum switched in favor of Chelsea. 

Chelsea battled back to take the lead and forced a Dexter timeout at 19-17, but it did not slow the Bulldogs as they took the set 25-20 on a kill by Jenna Ouellette.

Jenna Ouellette recorded nine kills, including the first-set winner against Dexter

The second set was even early with the teams tied at 9, but Braedy Wineman rattled off seven straight service points to take a 16-9 lead. 

The lead grew to 201- forcing a Chelsea timeout, but the Dreads did not let up and took the set 25-13 on an ace by Hanna Quinn.

Dexter kept the momentum in the third and went on an 11-2 run to take a 18-9 lead and force a Chelsea timeout. The Dreadnaughts again did not let up and took the set 25-13 to take a 2-1 lead. 

Chelsea started quick in the fourth set by taking an 8-4 lead, but Dexter battled back to lead 12-11.

Anna Creech recorded five straight service points to extend the lead 17-11 and looked to be cruising to the win, but Chelsea was not done. 

The Bulldogs battled back to cu the Dexter lead to 18-16, but Dexter answered and would lead 23-19.

Chelsea scored three straight to cut the lead to 23-22 setting up an amazing finish.

The Bulldogs saved a match point to tie the game at 24 and had a set point of their own at 25-24, but Dexter tied it at 25. The Dreadnaughts had another set point at 26-25, but again Chelsea held off and tied it at 26.

The Dexter bench celebrates a point late in the fourth set against Chelsea

Dexter retook the lead and had another match point at 27-26 when the teams went on amazing volley that went back and forth for nearly a full minute with both sides making diving saves to keep the play going until Wineman clinched the match with a tip over the outstretched hands of the Bulldogs front line and landed for the game winner 28-26.

Wineman had a big night with 31 assists, eight kills and four aces to lead Dexter.

Jamie Giese was a force at the net with 15 digs and ten kills, while Creech had 19 digs, five kills, and four aces. Veronia Sannino added 18 digs, four assists, and one ace; Savannah Smith 14 digs, six kills, and three aces, and Mikah Salemi led the attack by hitting .429 in the middle. 

Braedy Wineman had a huge night with 31 assists, eight kills and four aces to lead Dexter

"It is always an emotional, intense match when we play Chelsea. It was a match we knew we would be battling the crowd and fighting to communicate with a lot of negative energy coming at us," Coach Paula Palmer Burns said. "We are so grateful for the support and turn out of our fans and the best student section in the SEC! It took us a while to calm down and build our own energy and then we could focus on working together, staying connected, and being consistent in our game plan. It was exactly what we needed heading into the SEC Red Jamboree on Saturday."

Ellie McGlashen had another big night for the Bulldogs with a triple-double of 17 digs, 16 assists, ten kills, two aces, and two blocks.

Ouellette was big at the net with nine kills, six digs, and one block, while Martina Calaboro was strong in the back court with a team high 24 digs, six assists, and two aces. Kayla Munson added 20 digs and seven kills, Mya Spadafore 14 assists and seven digs, Rachel Hien 15 digs and 10 kills, and Sasha French four blocks, three digs, and two kills.

"The girls fought hard and gave it everything they could, I am so proud of them," Chelsea Coach Erin Dillon said. 

The teams will compete in the SEC jamborees this weekend. Dexter will play in the Red jamboree at Bedford, while Chelsea will compete in the White jamboree at Jackson Saturday. 

Photos by Mike Williamson

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