After piling up victories, Glen Rose encountered its first significant adversity since opening day during Saturday’s home tourney action.
The Lady Tigers (10-4) were able to beat Burnet before being dealt their first consecutive losses of the season against Cleburne and Godley.
Glen Rose defeats Burnet 26-24 and 25-14
The score said it all regarding a nail-biter in game one.
“We played really good and had one little streak where they caught up to us,” coach Laura Korenek said of game one. “We had to battle it out at the end and it was good experience for those young girls because Burnet’s a good team. You never know – we could face them in the bi-district playoffs.”
Kayla Goebel had a team-high six service points in game one.
“Kayla did a nice job serving and she was up when we won game one,” Korenek said. “She served tough, even with the game on the line.”
The Lady Tigers rode momentum to put the match away. Cheyenne Harton led her team with five service points in the game.
“After we pulled out game one, they just kind of fell apart and couldn’t get much going,” the coach said. “Our hitters were on and they couldn’t get good enough passes up to really attack us.”
Glen Rose loses to Cleburne 20-25 and 15-25
After a 3-3 start, a strong Cleburne server gave the Lady Tigers fits to force a timeout at 3-10.
“They had some good servers with jumpserving and tough floaters,” Korenek said. “We struggled to make good passes and hit at them. That’s the best team we’ve played this year in my opinion, and probably one of the best in the last couple of years.”
Olivia Banz (3 aces) helped her team fight back to 9-10 with a five-point serving streak.
“That’s awesome for Olivia,” Korenek said. “She looks nervous back there, but she serves tough and it’s really helped us in this tournament.”
Cleburne hit another run, however, to force a Glen Rose timeout at 11-19. Down the stretch of the game, only Kelsey Potter (2 kills, tip, block) was able to get much done offensively.
“I think we got Kelsey some better sets than other (hitters),” the coach said. “Being on the left front also helps her stay clear of those big middle blockers most of the time. Plus, she’s so good at swinging around blocks anyway.”
While a good start from Goebel (block, kill) helped Glen Rose get to 6-6 in game two, Cleburne delivered another big run to bring a Lady Tiger timeout at 8-15. Cleburne hit diagonal kills effectively and nearly always attacked when the Lady Tigers didn’t send the ball over aggressively.
“When we put the ball back over the net without power, it really gave us trouble,” Korenek said. “If we didn’t attack, it was coming back quick at us. Their middles swing around the block good. I kept telling our girls on defense to be ready for those sharp angles.”
Although Banz and Potter had late kills, Cleburne finished strong.
Glen Rose loses to Godley 25-21, 14-25 and 15-25
While the Lady Tigers got the job done early on, it was difficult throughout. As the teams battled to 12-12 in game one, Potter (3 kills, tip) was leaned on heavily.
“We’re definitely leaning on our left fronts, and especially Kelsey, to get us started,” Korenek said.
Godley began to take control with some blocks and went ahead 19-16. A Banz kill gave Glen Rose a key point, and then Godley made a number of unforced errors.
“Godley hit several balls into the net there and let us back in the game,” Korenek said.
In a 20-20 game, Banz served three crucial points, including an ace, as a Goebel kill made it 23-20. The Lady Tigers finished off the game from there.
“Olivia served tough and got us a much-needed point there,” the coach said.
Although Potter (2 tips, kill) started fast in game two at 3-4, Godley rapidly took the game over to force a Glen Rose timeout at 5-13.
“They served very tough against us, and we couldn’t seem to move and react,” Korenek said. “That first pass was killing us, so we had a hard time running a quick offense and it made things easier for them. They’re really good at finding the (defensive) gaps when they hit.”
While a few Goebel service points helped Glen Rose get within five, Godley had an answer and pulled away again to ice the game.
“We had to play without any mistakes after we got in that early hole,” Korenek said. “That’s hard to do.”
Although Glen Rose trailed nearly all of game three due in part to some service-receive trouble, the Lady Tigers were right there out to 14-14. Potter (3 kills, tip) continued to play a major role, while Goebel had a kill and won a point with a push.
“We struggled with service-receive all the way around, and when you give a good team free balls they’re going to make you pay,” the coach said.
Consecutive aces by Harton completed a 6-1 run for a 14-13 lead, but Godley struck back with a 9-0 run to seal the deal.
“For a minute there we were in good shape and then after that we just couldn’t get everybody going at the same time,” Korenek said. “Godley always makes it far in the playoffs. They’re a good team.”
Glen Rose returns to the court in Grandview Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“The teams we’ve lost to are playoff teams, so we need to try to work on the areas where they have been better than us in order to contend with them later on,” Korenek said.