On the same day they moved up to No. 1 in the Class 4A volleyball poll for the first time this season, the Glen Rose Lady Tigers needed four sets to dispatch the Lorena Lady Leopards 21-25, 25-9, 25-14, 25-10 Tuesday night at Tiger Arena.
Senior outside hitter Logan Smith paced three Lady Tigers in double figures in kills with 20, while Libby Hinton and Bryanna Lytle added 19 and 12 each, and Hanna Griffin was one off double digits with nine.
“We hit well,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said. “When we start consistently hitting three in double digits we can make a few changes in our rotation and make it even stronger. When you get three hitting .250 or higher, you are a solid team and it’s hard to get beat by anyone.”
Tuesday night’s win coupled with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-15 victory over Brock last Friday night, improved the Lady Tigers’ record to 22-5 overall.
On Friday night, the Lady Tigers will host Holliday (15-10) at Tiger Arena. Varsity begins at 4:30 p.m. and the JV will immediately follow.
“Holliday is a scrappy team,” Langford said. “They have a good experienced middle and outsides that I am excited to go against. They are a 3A powerhouse, and we hope they really challenge us and give us a great game.”
In addition to her 20 kills against the Lady Leopards, Smith added 24 digs and six blocks. Lytle also tallied 18 digs while Maddie Mooney finished with 16. Setter Mallory Rogers led the Lady Tigers with 37 assists and Taylor Fellers had 15.
As a team, the Lady Tigers had a .294 hitting percentage while racking up seven services aces and 11 blocks.
“Right now, our main focus is earning more than one or two real points per rotation,” Langford said. “That, along with a strong kill rate, (and) we will become very tough.”
The Lady Leopards had the Lady Tigers on their heels early in the first set. After breaking a 6-6 tie, Lorena went on a 7-1 run to take firm control of the set at 13-7. Griffin had back-to-back kills to pull the Lady Tigers to within a point at 20-19, but they managed just two points the rest of the way in falling 25-21.
In the second set, the Glen Rose offense came alive behind six kills from Hinton and four each from Smith and Lytle. In a pivotal 8-1 run, Lytle and Hinton had three kills each to give Glen Rose a commanding 14-7 advantage before eventually winning 25-14.
Hinton had two kills and a block assist with Smith in the Lady Tigers’ first five points of Set 3 to lead 5-1. For the set, Smith tallied four block assists and five kills in the easy 25-9 win.
In the 25-10 win in the final set, Smith recorded six kills, while Lytle and Hinton had five and four kills respectively.
“Coming off of a really fast last 25 games, playing nothing but fast was our only option,” Langford said. “These last two games the ball was in our hands, and we are having to set the tone of the game rather than our opponent. We are doing a great job working through and figuring out our game.”