Lady Tigers open playoffs Saturday with Iowa Park
HAMILTON — The Glen Rose Lady Tigers volleyball team painted themselves into a corner early in the district season by losing their first three matches, but with a 3-0 win over Gatesville on Monday night in a district tie-breaker, they finally worked their way out of it.
The Lady Tigers (14-15) lost to Brownwood, Stephenville and Gatesville to open district play only to answer with five wins on their last six district matches – including the tiebreaker – to move up to the third seed.
“Our focus this season is to be better with each game and I believe that has happened,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said. “We have had to trust the process and we are still moving up that mountain getting stronger skill-wise, court-smart, there on the block and back court and executing plays offensively.”
Glen Rose will open the Class 4A playoffs on Saturday at 11 a.m. when they meet Iowa Park (18-11) at Mineral Wells High School. The Lady Hawks are the No. 2 seed from District 5-4A. They beat Vernon on Saturday to lock up the second seed.
Glen Rose and Iowa Park aren’t strangers. The Lady Tigers beat Iowa Park in five sets – 25-19, 18-25, 25-20, 13-25, 15-12 – in the fourth game of the year at Tiger Arena. Matti Young recorded a team-high 15 kills and BrookLynn Vara added 10, while Cam Hinton tallied a school-record 43 digs in the win.
“They run a quick offense, have strong hitters and are very scrappy defense. We will have to bring our A game,” Langford said. “We will have to control the game offensively.”
As for their match-up with Gatesville on Monday, it was the third meeting between the two teams. The Lady Jackets won the first meeting in four, while the Lady Tigers won in a sweep nearly two weeks ago.
“With us playing them three times we knew them and their strengths, their weaknesses and really did a great job,” Langford said of the 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 win.
Abby Koerner led the Lady Tigers with six kills, while Ava Senhert added five and Young and Vara had four each. Alexis Mims tied a school record with eight blocks (three solo).
“She is really getting back in her groove and timing,” Langford said.
In all, the Lady Tigers had 11 block assists and four solo blocks, while added four service aces with two coming from Kylie Frush.
“This time of year is when you really should see our blockers come together and begin putting up that wall,” Langford said.
Lindsey Andress and Hinton added 11 digs each, while Emma Lozier added 12 assists.