“I believe we are getting stronger each game we play. I have seen the confidence and the composure coming together as the tension to do better and better increases,” said S-T head coach Judy Whatley.
The ’Hounds made it interesting but the Lady Cats always seemed to have an answer for a short Taft run.
Set one had the host Lady Cats race out to a comfortable, at least at the time, lead of 8-1. Taft did not really get into the set until late in the action It was 20-10 with the S-T ladies in front easily. The Lady Hounds outscored the Lady Cats 7-5 down the stretch to make the final closer at 25-17 than it actually seemed.
“We started out very strong against the Greyhounds, but let them back in the game, so there are things we continually need to work on. Consistency is one thing we are striving for and taking every opportunity that is presented to us and doing something with it,” Whatley said.
The second set was played closer to the vest as the teams stayed close to one another the whole way. S-T held an early 4-1 lead but Taft went on a short run to pull ahead 5-4. The teams traded points until Taft forged a 9-6 advantage.
Lady Cats Kathy Acosta and Justine Thomas then got hot and helped the home team race past the Greyhounds to a 16-12 lead. Taft did get close again at 21-19, but the Lady Cats finished things off with a 4-0 run for the 25-19 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best of five match.
The Lady Hounds led in set three all the way to 10-9 but the Lady Cats took control from there. The service games from D’Anne Wilder and K. Acosta highlighted a big, late run as the S-T girls outscored Taft 16-3 over the last few minutes of the match. The final score in set three was a dominating 25-13 victory for the team in purple.
Kathy Acosta and D’Anne Wilder led the Lady Cats with seven kills. Wilder added 10 assists on the night with Brittany Garza contributing eight assists.
Celina Acosta hit for three aces and Aaliyah East recorded two aces against the Hounds.
Samantha Minter came up with a team-high 10 digs while East had six digs. Kamy Kimball played well along the net with three blocks and Celina Acosta contributed two.
“I was very proud of all the Lady Cats. Kamy Kimball has stepped up to the plate and is playing with more aggression than previously,” said Whatley.
“Kathy Acosta is playing all the way around now and she is doing well at the back row.
D’Anne Wilder and Brittany Garza (being our two setters) have helped lead the team in the directions we need to be going; sometimes they go unnoticed in their role but we couldn’t do it without them.”
The Lady Cats will travel to Bishop today (Saturday) to play the Lady Badgers and will still be on the road on Tuesday night with a date with the Banquete Lady Bulldogs.
The JV contest went to the visiting Taft Lady Hounds in two straight sets, 25-21 and 25-19.
Bruce Harper is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 123, or at sports@mySouTex.com.