After missing the postseason for the first time in over a decade last year, the Glen Rose Lady Tigers took two big steps in returning to the playoffs in 2009 - win the first one and beat a district opponent.
Glen Rose opened the season on Aug. 11 when 4A Mineral Wells came to town and the Lady Tigers welcomed them with a 3-0 sweep.
Glen Rose held off a small comeback effort in game one before finally slamming the door shut at 25-21.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 6-1 lead and maintained the advantage throughout most of the set.
When the score reached 19-12, Mineral Wells reeled off four straight points to make it 19-16.
After a couple of Jessie Calkins kills and Mineral Wells miscues, the Lady Tigers were one point away from a set one win at 24-17.
The Lady Rams scored four straight again, but Calkins landed a kill shot immediately following a Glen Rose timeout to seal it.
In game two, Glen Rose spotted Mineral Wells a 3-0 lead and the Lady Rams held it most of the way.
When the tally reached 22-19 in favor of the Lady Rams, head coach Linda Waggoner called for time.
“I told them they have to get tough,” Waggoner said. “Haley (Coffer) came in and served well and the defense pulled together.”
Immediately out of the timeout, the Lady Tigers won the game with six straight points on the strength of a pair of Katy Irvin kills, a pair of Coffer service aces and two Mineral Wells mistakes.
Glen Rose wasted no time polishing off the Lady Rams, sending them home with a 25-20 win in game three.
Glen Rose held an eight point lead over the first half of the game at 15-7. Mineral Wells went on to to outscore the Lady Tigers 13-10 over the rest of the set, but it was to no avail.
After the season-opening win, the Lady Tigers traveled to Grandview for tournament play and came home with a second place finish in the silver bracket.
Glen Rose opened the tournament in pool play where the Lady Tigers dropped two of three to fall into the silver bracket. In the pool play, they lost to Waco Robinson, 25-21, 25-16, and Bowie, 25-18, 25-19.
The teams played in a best two out of three format - as opposed to the normal three out of five - due to the amount of teams in the tournament. The Lady Tigers then finished pool action strong with a 25-17, 25-20 sweep of Waco Connally.
“After pool play, we changed the lineups and that made us a little more even all over the court,” Waggoner said. “In Bracket play, we played better than we have all year. We moved Kaitlin (West) to the outside and Kaycie (Brown) to the middle. We also moved Skyler Snyder to outside right.”
In the silver bracket, the Lady Tigers opened up with a 25-9, 25-11 sweep of Kopperl. that put them in a surprise second round match against District 7-3A rival China Spring, which Glen Rose disposed of in straight sets by counts of 26-24 and 25-21.
“It was very nice (beating China Spring),” Waggoner said. “It was a close match. We were behind 23-24 (in the first set) and came back to beat them. It made the girls happy and showed them we can come back and beat a good team.”
The Lady Tigers would go on to fall to Decatur in the silver bracket championship, 25-18 and 25-15.