Hornets rally late to down Cougars in 17-4A opener
After losing their previous two non-district starts, Gatesville rebounded to win its District 17-4A volleyball opener Friday night, besting traditionally tough China Spring, 3-2, on the Hornets’ court.
Coach Rickey Phillips’ youthful Hornets came back from a 2-1 defi cit to win 15-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 15-12 to improve to 17-10 on the season.
More important, it was a victory over one of the Hornets prime rivals in the derby to obtain one of the district’s four berths in the state playoffs.
The fi ve-set match -- Gatesville’s first five-setter of the campaign -- took more than two hours to complete.
The Hornets played host to another prime contender, Robinson, on Tuesday and then will take the road for a pair of 17-4A games in Waco. They face La Vega at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Connally at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Robinson opened 17-4A play on Friday night, dropping a 3-1 decision to defending champion Lorena.
“It wasn’t always pretty, but it was a very big win against a very good program,” Phillips said. “Proud of our kids . . . they fought their way out of a corner, really showing a lot of character.
“We were a little tattered there in the third (set), but we found a second wind. Our kids just decided they weren’t going to lose, and that’s the way they fi nished the game.”
The Hornets had their backs against the wall in set four -- down 2-1 and having let a fi ve-point lead slip away. They fell behind 21-19 in the set, but Gatesville scored six of the last seven points behind kills by junior Sage Carson and sophomore Sydney Mundkowski, coming off an ankle injury, and a key block by freshman Marlee Ward.
Carson was a major factor at the net with 23 kills and four blocks. Mundkowsky and junior Maci Matthews added nine and seven kills, respectively. Sophomore Jill Truss fed the offense with 36 assists.
Defensively, senior Carlee Duncan, junior Darci Segraves and senior Lina Hoti combined for 23 digs and Ward supported Carson at the net with three blocks.
Results of the Robinson game will appear in Saturday’s edition.
In sub-varsity games with China Spring, the GHS JV fell 10-25, 25-22, 15-11 and the freshmen took a 21-25, 25-13, 25-16 win.
The JV won five of eight games in the Salado tournament on Thursday and Saturday to run their record to 16-10.
They went 1-3 on Thursday, beating Lampasas, 2-0 (25-9, 25-13) and losing to Harker Heights, 2-0 (25-13, 25-16); Waco University, 2-1(10-25, 25-20, 25-23); and Salado, 2-1 (20-25, 25-21, 15-11).
On Saturday, they ran the table with 2-0 wins over Jarrell (25-17, 25-18), Cameron Yoe (25-12, 25-11), Killeen (25-14, 25-12) and Belton (25-19, 25-21).
The freshmen went 6-2 at Salado, improving to 15-10 on the year. They split on Thursday, beating Lampasas, 2-0 (25-13, 25-22) and University, 25-10, 25-13, losing to Harker Heights, 2-0 (25-21, 25-17) and Salado, 2-0 (25-16, 25-12).
On Saturday, they also swept four matches 2-0, besting Jarrell (25-12, 25-13); Cameron Yoe (25-8, 25-13), Killeen (25-19, 25-14) and Belton (26-24, 25-17).