“Momentum is everything in volleyball,” according to Glen Rose head coach Linda Waggoner.
Momentum, as defined by Webster’s dictionary, is the strength or forced gained by motion or by a series of events.
A Mika Kelly kill in the middle of the third game began the change in momentum from Graham to Glen Rose in Thursday area round of the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Glen Rose, a “devastating” call made by the head official penalized a set by Anna D’Angelo in a 29-29 deadlock in game four, giving the momentum, the advantage, the serve and ultimately the match, to Graham.
“I was devastated and those girls were devastated,” said Waggoner. “I didn’t think the set was bad at all. I thought Anna made a clean set. In fact, I had already taken my eyes off the set and was watching the hit and I think everyone else was too.
“No,” Waggoner asked when asked if she thought anyone would have questioned an unblown whistle. “Not when their setter was holding the ball in her hand for a second all night. We were questioning that all night.”
Glen Rose sent its next kill attempt into the net to end its playoff run and season.
“Every year it ends eventually and they’re in (the locker room) a little mopey, but after that game they were hysterical,” said Waggoner. “They felt like it had been taken away from them.”
Prior to the defeat, however, the Lady Tigers managed to pull off an upset of the District 7-3A runners-up to advance through their first postseason match in three years.
In 2007, the Lady Tigers advanced past Lake Worth and fell to Royce City in the area round.
Glen Rose 3, Mineral Wells 1
For Glen Rose fans, the playoffs opened with a rather ‘predictable’ upset.
The District 8-3A third-seeded Lady Tigers were matched up with 7-3A runner-up Mineral Wells in the Bi-District round at Aledo High School Tuesday night.
Glen Rose was undefeated against the Lady Rams in four regular season matches and nothing changed in the playoffs.
Glen Rose dropped the opening game but came back with three straight wins.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to an early 7-4 lead on the strength of kill shots by seniors Katy Irvin (2), Katie Uehlein, Jessie Calkins and Kelly.
But three Mineral Wells kill shots, one ace and a Glen Rose error gave the Lady Rams their first lead of the opening set at 9-7.
Glen Rose got back on top 11-9 after kills by Samantha Strother and Uehlein, a Lady Ram lift foul and an ace by Teryl Dunn.
A pair of Glen Rose miscues knotted the score at 11-11.
The teams traded points until 19-19, then Mineral Wells rolled with six straight points to take the first game 25-19.
Game two was highlighted by the serving skills of Uehlein.
The senior opened the set with an ace and would later served up six straight points to lead 16-9.
Glen Rose got the score to 18-12 and set up game point with two Mineral Wells errors and four kill shots from Irvin (2), Kelly and Uehlein. Reilly Junge assisted on all four kills.
Calkins landed the final strike after a set from D’Angelo to take the game 25-15 and knot the series 1-1.
“We went on the offensive after game one,” said Waggoner. “We started making better passes and forced them to go on the defensive.”
Glen Rose opened game three with a steady four-point lead at 13-9, then a Calkins kill from D’Angelo started a 4-0 push to pad the lead at 17-9.
Glen Rose built a nine-point lead at 23-14 and Mineral Wells sent a serve into the net to set up a game point.
Strother stuffed a Lady Ram kill attempt at the net to finish the 25-14 win.
Mineral Wells showed some fight in game four, building a 15-13 lead.
Irvin slammed home a kill shot from a Kaitlin West set to start a 6-0 run to take the final lead Glen Rose would would need at 19-15.
The Lady Tigers went on to win 25-21 to claim their first bi-district championship since 2007 when they beat Lake Worth.
Graham 3, Glen Rose 1 (Thurs.)
Coming off the adrenaline rush of a bi-district championship, the Lady Tigers scheduled a Thursday night date with the 6-3A champion Graham Lady Blues.
Graham, a team loaded with four players standing 6-foot or taller, showed its dominance early, jumping out to a 6-0 lead.
Glen Rose finally got on the board with a West kill shot.
Graham built its lead to 11-1, and despite a 7-3 push by Glen Rose, maintained its 10-point advantage at 20-10.
Graham went on to win 25-15, scoring seven points on stuffed Glen Rose kill shots.
“We had to compensate by trying to hit away from the 6-3 girl,” said Waggoner. “She got a couple of blocks on us, but our right fronts did great job when she was playing opposite them. We just tried to stay away from her as much as possible.”
Glen Rose looked undersized against the Lady Blues as game two continued to go in Graham’s favor.
The Lady Steers built a commanding 2-0 series lead after their 25-16 game two victory.
In game three, the Lady Tigers took their first lead of the match at 2-1 and then came the shift in momentum.
After a blown call by the official against Glen Rose was overruled and the point replayed, Irvin slammed home a kill to make the score 7-6 in favor of Graham.
On the ensuing play, the same official was undermined again for a call that cost Strother a block point.
During the replay, Kelly landed a kill to knot the score at 7-7. She would hit another two plays later to make the score 8-8.
That kill gave the serve back to D’Angelo who served up seven straight points on the strength of an ace, two Strother stuffs, and kills by Calkins and Uehlein to give Glen Rose a 15-8 lead.
The lead would hold true as Glen Rose went on to a 25-20 victory and force game four.
Both teams stayed neck-and-neck at 12-12 before Calkins and Irvin landed back-to-back kill shots for a 14-12 Glen Rose edge.
Graham answered with a 7-2 run to lead 19-16.
It was 22-20 Lady Blues when Glen Rose answered with a kill from Calkins and a stuff from West and Calkins to knot the score at 22-22.
Graham sent the next point into the net but answered with a kill shot to keep the score even at 23-23.
West stuffed a Graham kill attempt to force a game-point but Graham answered with a kill shot.
The teams traded points to stay even at 27-27, and Uehlein gave Glen Rose the advantage and the serve with a kill shot. Glen Rose was called for a double hit to knot the score 28-28.
After a Graham point, Kelly landed a kill shot on a set from Junge to knot the score at 29-29. That’s when Glen Rose finished the match and its season by allegedly setting the ball illegally then sending a hitting error into the net.
“They fought back against all odds,” Waggoner said of her team. “They never quit. That kind of character is going to help them succeed in life.”
The Lady Tigers lose a handful of impact seniors, including three-year varsity starters Irvin, Calkins and West. Other senior departures include Uehlein, Strother and Kelly.
“I could not ask for a better group of kids,” said Waggoner. “They hung together and pulled together right there at the end. They fought hard and never quit and that’s all you can ask out of them.”