Lady Tigers claim third straight district crown with sweep over Stephenville

Jay Hinton Glen Rose Reporter
Libby Hinton led the Lady Tigers with nine kills.

STEPHENVILLE — The third-ranked Glen Rose Lady Tigers wrapped up their third consecutive district volleyball championship Tuesday night with a 25-23, 25-9, 25-20 victory over Stephenville.

“Although I look at where we end more than where we start in the playoff season, it is fun to have all the champion titles behind the biggest title. We are working for that biggest title this year,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said.

With their 36th consecutive district victory, the Lady Tigers improve to 32-6 overall and 7-0 in district play. They will take a break from district play Friday when they face Callisburg (36-4) at 4:30 p.m. at the Advantage Sports Complex in Carrollton.

The Lady Tigers will close out the regular season Tuesday with Mineral Wells. Glen Rose will honor seniors Bryanna Lytle, Libby Hinton, Logan Smith, Mallory Rogers and Maddie Mooney before the game with the Lady Rams. Currently, this senior class is 149-25 (.856) all-time.

A win Tuesday over the Lady Rams would give Glen Rose its third consecutive unbeaten district season as well.

“Not many girls can say they have been undefeated in district for three straight years,” Langford said. “It comes from hard work, focus and showing no mercy, no matter who we face.”

In the win over the Honeybees on Tuesday night, Libby Hinton led the Lady Tigers with nine kills and six blocks, while Logan Smith added eight kills. As a team, the Lady Tigers recorded 12 blocks. 

“Blocking is one of the last skills that we tidy up before playoffs,” Langford said. “Once we hit the second round of district, we start working on it more frequent and making it a real focus. We start studying our opponents, and we really know tendencies, so that makes it easier as well.”

In the first meeting of the year between the two teams, the Honeybees led in all three sets, and it continued Tuesday. 

After Glen Rose jumped out to a 6-2 lead, Stephenville slowly worked its way back and took a 15-13 lead — its first lead of the set. Trailing by two at 17-15, setter Taylor Fellers tied the score for Glen Rose with back-to-back set dumps. 

The Lady Tigers trailed 21-19, but the reeled off five straight points to take a 24-21 lead. Stephenville cut the lead to 24-23 before a solo block by Lytle sealed the win for the Lady Tigers. 

“Stephenville was hot offensively and had control for most of the first game,” Langford said. “The gym was packed with their fans; it was parent night; they had everything to play for. It was fun to watch our girls have to battle for that first set.”

Lytle had four kills in the set, and Hinton and Fellers had two each. The Lady Tigers also had five blocks in the set, including three from Hanna Griffin, who finished with four in the match. 

After getting the first point of the second set on a Stephenville error, Mooney served the next eight points for the Lady Tigers in building a 9-0 lead. Mooney had two service aces and Hinton had two kills in the run. Also in the set, Hailey Ibarra tallied two service aces, and the Lady Tigers added three more blocks.

With Set 3 tied at 7-7, the Lady Tigers went on a 10-2 run to lead 17-9. Stephenville fought back again and pulled within two at 22-20 before the Lady Tigers closed out the set and match with kills from Smith and Griffin, and a block Griffin and Alexis Mims.