Balanced Attacks Lift White Oak + Henderson to Sweeps of John Tyler
TYLER — Both White Oak and Henderson attacked John Tyler from all angles, each coming away with road sweeps Tuesday night at the Lions Den.
White Oak, the No. 5-ranked team in Class 2A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association, rolled to a 25-17, 25-16, 25-21 sweep before Henderson took care of JT 25-23, 25-17, 25-23.
The Ladynecks improved to 9-2 on the season.
“Our girls played very sound defensively,” said White Oak coach Nicole Thorn. “That’s something we’ve really been working on. I thought we did a good job of staying patient. John Tyler is a great team, very athletic and can make some great plays. But we stayed patient and weathered the storm.”
Karley Hugghins lead the way with nine kills. Rebecca Green added five kills, one assists and three aces, while Audrey Lunstedt delivered five kills and an assist. Madison Pecot and Kayla McCoy had four kills apiece, and the duo of Cayman Sutton and Kailee Simmons combined for 22 assists.
After having very little trouble in either of the first two games, White Oak found itself trailing 8-2 to start the third game. Thorn wasted little time in calling for timeout.
“If we’re up, we’re comfortable and we get lax,” Thorn said. “I had to remind them that we hadn’t won anything yet and to finish that game. The good thing is that we are doing things a lot better with the things we’ve been working on at practice. It showed tonight for sure.”
John Tyler (7-8) was led by Kashanti Flowers, who finished with six kills, one block and three aces. DeDe Rouge added three kills and 11 assists, while Shakendra Tilley had four kills.
“We’ve just do a better job of communicating and a better job of executing,” said John Tyler coach LaMessa Derrett. “We’re doing good things at certain times, but it’s been inconsistent. We’re playing some tough teams in pre-district, so maybe by the time district comes around we’ll settle down by then and be able to fight through it.”
Karly Free led Henderson’s sweep of John Tyler with seven kills and nine assists. Taylor Sledge added seven kills and an assist, Jordan Boles and Kami McCaw had five kills apiece and Kenzy Henry contributed a team-best 12 assists.
“We hadn’t seen them play this year,” Henderson coach Leann Dorsey said of John Tyler. “We got to see them play against White Oak and we knew that they were going to be aggressive at the net, so we knew we had to get some big stops on the net and keep them off all our serves. I thought that they did a good job with that tonight.”
Henderson got off to a 10-3 lead in the first game against John Tyler, which battled back to eventually take the lead, holding a 23-21 edge late. But Henderson closed on a 4-0 run, punctuated by kills from McCaw and Free.
In Game 2, Henderson began with a 9-3 run and never looked back. JT cut the deficit to 15-14, but Henderson coasted from there by outscoring John Tyler 10-3 the rest of the way.
JT had an 18-17 lead late in the third game, but Henderson reeled off four consecutive points, thanks to a kill from Sledge and a block and kill by Codie Whitehead. Down to match point, John Tyler rallied for three consecutive points to cut the deficit to 24-23, but Henderson was able to close it out by scoring the next point.
“Those teams are good teams, but we just didn’t play to our ability in either match,” Derrett said. “We weren’t moving and we weren’t talking. And when you’re not moving and talking, you’re not going to win any games.”
John Tyler, Henderson and White Oak all participate in the Tyler Tournament this weekend.