BROWNWOOD — The fourth-ranked Glen Rose Lady Tigers began their quest for their third consecutive undefeated district slate with a pair of decisive road victories over Brownwood on Tuesday night and Godley last Friday.
“We are in a good place right now, and I think everyone can tell that by the scores from our district games,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said.
The Lady Tigers dispatched the Lady Lions and Lady Cats with relative ease with a 25-16, 25-16, 25-12 win over Brownwood and a 25-18, 25-5, 25-17 victory over Godley, running their district winning streak to 31.
“With one match being on a Friday and football playing in Sunnyvale, and Brownwood is almost 1 hour, 45 minutes away, we haven’t had much of a crowd, so it’s been good to have to really self-motivate and set specific goals to reach with most of our energy having to come from each other,” Langford said, whose last district loss was Sept. 18, 2015, to Peaster.
The Lady Tigers (27-6, 2-0) have a bye Friday, so they will look to improve to 3-0 when they host No. 21 Stephenville (22-13, 1-0) on Tuesday night at Tiger Arena in the battle of district 7-4A unbeatens.
“This will be a nice break for the girls. Yes, we are over 30 games in and have had no break. We are healthy, hungry and ready to roll,” Langford said of the bye weekend.
The Honeybees, who have won eight straight matches, opened district play with a 25-19, 25-21, 25-13 victory over Godley on Tuesday.
“Stephenville was solid last year. They will be solid, move the ball around and play tough defense,” Langford said. “We will have to be ready to rally with them.”
In the win over the Lady Lions on Tuesday, the Lady Tigers had three players record double-digit kills with Logan Smith and Libby Hinton tallying 13 each while Bryanna Lytle added 10. As a team, the Lady Tigers hit .545 with 48 kills and just six hitting errors.
Defensively, Maddie Mooney added a team-high 12 digs, and Hinton and Hanna Griffin recorded two blocks each. Mallory Rogers posted a team-high 29 assists and Taylor Fellers added 16.
Glen Rose led 11-9 early in the first set, but broke it open with a pair of service aces by Rogers, a pair of Brownwood errors and kills by Lytle and Smith to lead 17-10. The Lady Tigers went on to win by nine at 25-16 behind five kills each from Lytle and Hinton, while Smith had four and Rogers added three service aces in the set.
The Lady Tigers trailed by two early in the second set but three consecutive Brownwood errors and a pair of kills from Lytle gave the Tigers the 13-11 lead. From there, the Lady Tigers went on a 12-5 run to win 25-16.
In the final set, the Lady Tigers led 8-0, 14-2 and 16-6 in cruising to the easy set victory.
“We are still mixing up types of offenses right now, making sure we can run whatever we need to at any given time,” Langford said. “I can say we are going to run this rotation and this offense one game and something totally different the next and they totally understand every change. Adjusting is going to be a huge strength of ours.”
In Friday’s win over Godley, Smith had a double-double with 12 kills and 15 digs, while Hinton had a team-high 13 kills and four blocks and Lytle had seven kills, 11 digs and two services aces to lead the Tigers.
The Lady Tigers weren’t fazed by an early three-point deficit to the Lady Cats. Trailing 10-7, Glen Rose reeled of a 10-3 run to lead 17-13 before eventually winning 25-18 in Set 1.
Glen Rose sailed out to a 12-0 lead in Set 2 before winning 25-5, and a 10-4 run late in Set 3 led to a 25-17 victory.
“On defense, we are getting stronger and stronger every game,” Langford said. “It is so fun to watch it all come together.”