Lady Tigers end season with loss to Iowa Park
GLEN ROSE — The 2020 volleyball season came to an end Saturday at Mineral Wells with a 23-25, 26-24, 22-25, 17-25 loss to Iowa Park in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“We knew we were very close talent-wise going into the game. We had to battle every point,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said. “We knew going in, defense was the key to win. Defensively, we let crucial points end in ball drops where they didn’t.”
With the loss, the Lady Tigers finish the season 14-16 overall, and they finished third in District 6-4A after finishing fourth in district in 2019. Langford is hoping to see continued improvement in 2021.
“As a coach I have to look at growth and with a very young team and we continued to grow tremendously individually and team-wise til the very last game,” she said. “I am very excited. I feel like things would have been completely different in a normal season. We played 30 games this year. In a normal year, we would play 28 games before going into district.”
At times in the Lady Tigers’ loss to Iowa Park, they had four freshmen and a junior on the court at the same time, and that experience will only help for next year.
“We grew tremendously with each game. Tournaments are so important for a young team because that’s where you see so much of your growth, learning, and chemistry,” Langford said. “Older teams don’t change much. I felt if we had just been going into district at Game 28 the playoffs would have looked completely different for us.”
The Lady Tigers looked to be in complete control in the first set against Iowa Park, but they let a 20-9 lead slip before losing the set 23-25.
“There were two rotations where we allowed them to score 14 points on us and we had to fix it,” Langford said. “We had to refocus and stick to the game plan.”
Glen Rose trailed late in the second set and this time, the Lady Tigers came back to tie the match at 1-1 with the 26-24 set win.
“They fought, that’s for sure, especially running out of subs,” Langford said.
The Lady Tigers led only twice early in the 22-25 third-set loss, and never led in the decisive 17-25 fourth set loss.
“Sometimes our maturity and just young knowledge of the game hurt us against an older team,” Langford said. “It wasn’t one single rotation that hurt us, but just overall, little inexperienced errors kept us from being the one leading.”
Senior Alexis Mims led the Lady Tigers with eight kills and five block assists, while senior Abby Koerner added seven kills, and junior Brooklynn Vara and freshman Ava Sehnert had five kills each. Sophomore Matti Young and freshman Aimee Flippen had four each.
Junior Cam Hinton recorded 28 digs and senior Lindsay Andress added 13, while Mims had eight, freshman Reese Andersen added seven and junior Kylie Frush had six. Hinton had four of the team’s eight service aces and senior Emma Lozier had two service aces and 19 assists, while freshman Avery Gray had eight assists and five digs.