Bridgeport opens season with win over Paradise

By Austin Jackson | Published Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018.
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There were plenty of nerves as Bridgeport coach Allison Jones made her coaching debut Tuesday night on the road at Paradise.

But once the Sissies settled in, Bridgeport’s aerial assault proved to be too much, winning the season opener in sweeping fashion (26-24, 25-19, 25-13). 

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

“There were definitely some jitters,” Jones said. “But it was a good start to the season. I saw the team come together.”

Paradise raced out to a 13-9 lead in the first set, but after a Morgen Davidson kill and a Paradise error on game point, Bridgeport clawed its way back to go up 1-0.

Davidson had 17 digs in the win. Haley Burton led the team with 31 assists, while Zoe Hall led the team with nine kills and five blocks.

Hall said their height gave them an advantage, but the chemistry between the team in the second and third sets was the key to the victory.

In the first set we were nervous,” Hall said. “But in the second set we were like, ‘We got this.’ We really came together and got going as a team.”

Bridgeport opened up a lead in the second set en route to a 25-19 win to go up 2-0.

In the third set, Tiffany Wootton found a grove behind the service line, propelling the Sissies to a 25-13 victory to close out the match. Wootton finished the match with a game-high four aces on 15 serves.

Bridgeport will travel to compete in the Burkburnett Tournament Friday and Saturday. The first game starts at 8 a.m.

In the middle of the first set, Paradise junior Harley Mayfield jumped for a block and came down awkwardly, suffering a knee injury.

Paradise coach Danny Anderson said she is the fourth Lady Panther to suffer a knee injury entering the school year. Senior Maddie Mitschke tore her anterior cruciate ligament in a summer league basketball game in June. Seniors Christina Tipton and Kendall Candioto also suffered knee injuries this summer.

Anderson said seeing Mayfield go down was another tough blow, but added he was proud of how his team fought through the circumstances.

“I was excited the first two games. We came out and played toe-to-toe with some big old girls,” Anderson said. “We had an injury that put us out of system early and they stepped up. I’m ready for the rest of the year.”

The Lady Panthers (0-1) will face Fort Worth Castleberry at home Friday at noon and follow up with another home game on Saturday at noon against Quanah.

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