Emory Rains Sweeps Henderson From the Playoffs + Faces Spring Hill Next
LINDALE -- Henderson volleyball coach Leann Dorsey said the team that showed up to Saturday's Class 3A area-round playoff against Emory Rains was a completely different team than the one that opened the playoffs earlier in the week.
And unfortunately for the Lady Lions, Saturday's version was no match for Emory Rains, which bounced Henderson from the playoffs with a 25-10, 25-23, 25-17 sweep.
Henderson (25-12), which swept Mineola in the bi-district round of the postseason last Tuesday, never could get going against the District 14-3A champion Lady Cats (33-6).
"We made a lot of mistakes and gave them a lot of points," Dorsey said. "And you can't give away points against a good team like that. We didn't play near as good as we did against Mineola. I don't know if it was the nerves or what contributed to it. We're all disappointed in the way we played tonight."
Rains moves on to face fourth-ranked Spring in the regional quarterfinals. The match is tentatively set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at either UT Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center or Hawkins High School.
The Lady Cats were led by the power of senior outside hitter Katie Hancock, who muscled home a match-high 19 kills. Shye Meador-McCray added six kills and two blocks, Layci Trieb delivered five kills and two aces and setter Alexis Bongiorno had 27 assists to go with three kills of her own.
Tiarra Davis had six kills and a block for Henderson. Samone Barnes had five kills, while Karley Free and Kami McCaw each had four. Free and Christa Thomas teamed for 17 assists.
Rains made it look easy in the opener, building leads of 13-4 and 22-8. Hancock produced five kills in Game 1, while Bongiorno had seven assists.
Henderson was competitive in the second game, jumping out to an early 6-2 lead. Rains wrestled the lead away, but the Lady Lions battled back to take a 20-17 edge late in the match. But Hancock had three kills during a crucial 5-0 run that put Rains back in front for good.
In the third and final game, Rains had a total of four, five-point leads. The Lady Lions cut it to 20-17, but once again Hancock came to the rescue with three kills during Rains' 5-0 run that closed out the match and Henderson's season.
"It was a great year," Dorsey said. "I'm pleased with coming out and making the playoffs, and that's not an easy task in our district. This group of seniors I had when they were in eighth grade, and I appreciate everybody's hard work this year. We're looking forward to a new year next year."