Lady Tigers feel at home with third win over WSN
Published 4:06 pm Monday, October 16, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Three years may have passed since the last time the T.R. Miller volleyball team played at W.S. Neal, but that did not stop the Lady Tigers from feeling at home with a 25-13, 25-16, 17-25, 25-13 victory Thursday.
The win was T.R. Miller's third of the season over W.S. Neal and stretched the Lady Tigers' winning streak to 10 games. The teams hook up again Tuesday in the opening round of the Class 4A Area 2 Tournament at T.R. Miller. Game time has been bumped up to 4 p.m.
W.S. Neal (9-8) fell victim to a dozen missed serves, which all occurred after the first set. The Lady Blue Eagles also hit several balls off the low W.S. Neal gymnasium ceiling.
Despite the fact the Lady Blue Eagles jumped out to a 4-1 lead and still had a 6-5 advantage in the early going, T.R. Miller did not have to use a full service rotation to win the first set.
The complexion of the set and perhaps match changed when Lady Tigers sophomore setter Morgan Hubbard served up 13 straight points to put T.R. Miller up 18-6. Hubbard had four aces during her run and she also got help up front from Shandreka Foster, who posted four of her match high 15 kills during that stretch.
If Hubbard's serving did not finish off the Lady Blue Eagles in the opener, a four-point string by Leslie Nalty that extended the lead to 23-7 did.
T.R. Miller did not have the long service strings in set two that it had in the first set, but it did not need them. The Lady Tigers benefited from four W.S. Neal missed serves and four kills and two blocks from Foster up front.
With T.R. Miller up 15-12, Foster had two kills and a block over two service rotations by Hubbard and Nalty that knocked the lead up to 21-13 and sent the Lady Tigers on to a second set win.
While T.R. Miller dominated most of the play in the first two sets, W.S. Neal regrouped for an impressive third set win. With the Lady Blue Eagles up 10-6, a defensive point and six points with two aces by Jessica Fountain swelled the cushion into double digits at 17-6.
While T.R. Miller regrouped to cut the gap to 21-17 after a five-point, two-ace string by Michal Hubbard, a missed serve, an ace by Erica Cardwell and two kills by Maggie Crutchfield enabled the Lady Blue Eagles to force a fourth set.
Foster had a pair of kills on a four-point string by Michal Hubbard on the first rotation of set four that gave the Lady Tigers a lead they never relinquished.
Michal Hubbard widened the gap to 17-9 the next time she came to serve with a pair of points and an ace. Morgan Hubbard soon put the lead at double digits with a three-point string that made it 22-11. The lead never dropped below double digits the rest of the way.
T.R. Miller also claimed the junior varsity match with a 25-17, 25-21 decision.
Mallory Mullis led the Lady Tigers in the opener with 10 points, while Sydney Andrews had five to pace W.S. Neal. Mullis also topped T.R. Miller's scoring in set two with eight points, while Athena Davis had five to top the Lady Blue Eagles scoring.