KELLER — Opening the season on the road at a Class 6A playoff opponent is a tall task for any team, but the Class 4A Glen Rose Lady Tigers answered the bell with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-16 victory over Keller Central Tuesday afternoon.
“We played well for our first game. We did some things good, some better than expected, and played a good season opener against a good team and won,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said.
The fourth-ranked Lady Tigers, who finished the 2016 season 40-4, got the season rolling in the right direction behind 13 kills and three service aces from junior outside hitter Logan Smith and 10 kills from junior outside hitter Bryanna Lytle.
In all, the Lady Tigers had four players with six kills or more and that was made possible by solid serve returns and good ball distribution from senior setter Emma Bozarth and junior setter Mallory Rogers.
“Right now, I think our setters are doing a great job moving the ball around and our hitters are doing a good job putting the ball down,” Langford said. “The key is communication, and the more we communicate the more we can add to our game.”
A pair of kills by junior Libby Hinton, who had six kills in the match, and two kills by Smith helped the Lady Tigers jump out to an early 8-3 lead in the first set.
The Lady Chargers, who went 35-10 last year, whittled their deficit to two at 8-6 with a pair of kills and a Glen Rose error.
The Glen Rose lead hovered around three before Keller Central tied the set at 17-17. The Lady Tigers responded with five straight points to take control of the first set before winning 25-19.
Smith finished with five kills in the set and Lytle tallied three, while Hinton, Andress, (with seven kills overall), and sophomore Taylor Fellers had two of her four kills on the night.
Glen Rose (1-0) trailed early in the second set before a solo block by Andress tied the set at 4-4, and back-to-back kills by Fellers and a kill by Smith gave the Lady Tigers the lead for good.
With the Lady Tigers leading 20-14, Lytle had two kills and two block assists and Hinton had two block assists in the final five points to win going away at 25-16.
In the third set, Andress tied it 3-3 with a kill, and that started a 7-1 run for the Lady Tigers.
With a 12-6 lead, the Lady Tigers added to it with two kills from Hinton, one by Smith and two hitting errors by Keller Central to lead by 10 at 16-6 before eventually winning the decisive set 25-16.
The Lady Tigers opened the ASC Denton Ryan Classic Thursday evening in Carrollton with Decatur and Kennedale, while on Friday afternoon they faced Iowa Park and Pecos at Denton Ryan High School. Action in the tournament at Denton Ryan concludes Saturday.
The Lady Tigers will play their first match at home Tuesday night when they host Joshua at 6:30 p.m. at Tiger Arena. JV and freshmen begin at 5:30 p.m. Meet the Tigers will immediately follow the varsity match.