GLEN ROSE — For the second consecutive year, the second-ranked Glen Rose Lady Tigers captured the Glen Rose Tournament — and Saturday’s win over Boyd in the championship match came in stunning fashion.
The Lady Tigers trailed 20-24 in the third and final set but rallied to win behind four Logan Smith kills down the stretch to take the set and match 25-18, 23-25, 27-25.
“We are an older team, so we are experienced in making last-minute changes,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said. “Boyd is one of the best defensive teams I have seen in a long time, and I mean not just keeping the ball in play but staying in system. They are solid all the way around not to mention hard workers. Those girls never quit.”
Behind Smith’s 19 kills, 24 digs and four service aces, Libby Hinton added 12 kills, while Taylor Fellers and Hanna Griffin added six and five kills, respectively in the win over Boyd. Mallory Rogers led the Lady Tigers with 23 assists and Fellers had 14.
Earlier in the day, Glen Rose beat Abilene Wiley 25-22, 21-25, 25-19 in the first round of bracket play. The Lady Tigers then beat Lorena 25-17, 25-22 in the quarterfinals and Sanger 14-25, 25-23, 25-16 in the semifinals.
In all, the Lady Tigers won eight matches in the 40-team tournament. They beat Early, Hico, Rio Vista and Burnet all by 2-0 scores on the first day of the tournament on Thursday, Aug. 16.
“Going into the tournament we were tired from long travel and we knew it was going to be a different speed,” Langford said. “We knew there were some really tough teams and we would have to bring our A game. To win our tournament was a great test to see where we are as a team.”
Hinton was named the tournament MVP, while Smith and Rogers were named to the all-tournament team.
The Lady Tigers took a break from tournament play and beat Sanger 25-11, 25-11, 25-21 on Friday in preseason action behind 21 kills and 16 digs from Smith, and 12 kills and five blocks from Hinton. Smith, Fellers and Lytle had three service aces each, and Rogers had 18 assists and 11 digs. Lytle also had five kills and 16 digs, while Maddie Mooney recorded 10 digs.
Saturday’s win over Lorena also marked Langford’s 400th career victory, and she was honored at Meet the Tigers on Monday night after the Lady Tigers beat China Spring 25-10, 25-15, 25-17.
“I have been blessed with some very talented athletes over the last 12 years. As an athlete in high school I either made it to regionals or state every year in the sports I played, and having a great coach and parents who didn’t accept anything less of what we were capable of was instilled in me at a young age.”
Langford is 404-95 (.809) overall in coaching stops at Nocona and Glen Rose, and she has made the regional tournament in each of her 12 years as a coach. Last year, she led Glen Rose to its first-ever state final four appearance.
She need just 109 matches to reach win No. 400 after getting win No. 300 early in the 2016 season.
In the win over China Spring, Smith led the Lady Tigers (17-3) with 15 kills while Hinton added nine. Bryanna Lytle chipped in with five kills and three services aces, while Rogers had three services aces as well.
The Lady Tigers, who have won 11 straight matches, will face Timberview at 10:30 a.m. and Arlington Lamar at 3 p.m. Friday on the first day of the Arlington ISD Showcase at Arlington Lamar High School. On Saturday, the Lady Tigers face Richland at 9 a.m. and Timber Creek at 12 p.m.
“We are excited for it because this season we set out to play a quicker game, and I hope to wrap up tournament season continuing to do that very thing,” Langford said.
On Tuesday, Aug. 28, the Lady Tigers travel to Weatherford for 6:30 p.m. meeting with the Kangaroos. Following a match Friday, Aug. 31 at Brock, the Lady Tigers return home Sept. 4 when they host Lorena.