Hallsville Keeps Climbing, Takes Down Tyler Lee in Three Sets
HALLSVILLE -- The Ladycats received word they were ranked No. 5 in the latest Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A volleyball poll Monday. Its practice after the news was released, coinciding with the first day of school, was not a good one.
No harm, no foul. This time.
Hallsville strengthened its resume Tuesday with a three-set sweep against Class 6A opponent Tyler Lee, 25-17, 25-18, 25-21.
"You want to embrace the ranking in that we haven't been there before," Jackson said. "It's a huge accolade to their effort and the work they've put into the program the last few years. But, if we're No. 5 right now, I still want us to get better. I don't want that to be a stopping point for them and for them to get big heads and say, 'Oh, we're this.' I believe they can get better."
The opponent was one of the most impressive teams in East Texas through the early portion of the season. The Lady Raiders lost their season-opener against White Oak and then reeled off seven straight match wins, including an undefeated run through the Longview Lady Lobo Tournament, before falling to solid Texas High and Whitehouse programs in a tri-match Thursday.
Hallsville had a top five ranking to defend.
A 16-4 run in the first set put the Ladycats on the big board first. Jackson's team used a 6-0 run to pin Lee early in the second set en route to a 25-18 win.
The third set, however, showed there's still some work to do before District 15-5A play begins on Sept. 12. Lee led 21-20 with 14 of its points in the set coming on Hallsville errors.
"The third match was a lot of point-for-point the whole time," Jackson said. "But, even through the other sets, there were a lot of unforced errors by us and by them. You want to make sure you're earning your points every single time. I felt like both of us were shaky on that tonight."
Hallsville won the final five points in the decisive set. Two of the scores came by kills. The other three tallies were Lady Raiders' errors.
Senior setter Haley Boyett recorded 35 assists in the match and scored on a kill. The Ladycats scored 45 of their 75 points on kills, meaning Boyett helped in contributing exactly 80 percent of the scoring offense.
"She works extremely hard and she wants the best for our hitters, but she needs to get the confidence to just get it in the air and they're going to put it on the court," Jackson said. "But she does great. She chases down balls everywhere. We talked about how good our serve-receive was and then in our last game we went beyond bad in our serve-receive. We made her chase tons of balls down, and she did great in that aspect."
Junior outside hitter Erin McCallum led Hallsville in scoring with 13 kills. Allison Lawrence and Audrey Slaten also had good outings with nine and six kills respectively.
Savannah McAmis led the Ladycats with 16 important digs.
Lexi Harvey was on point with her serves all night and finished her day with four aces.
Lee has the opportunity for a rematch against the Ladycats this weekend. Both teams will play in the Tyler Invitational Tournament.
"For us to go out and beat a team that's been on a role and is a bigger school in Tyler is great," Jackson said. "It shows us where we are, but it lets me know where we can be. The girls know that, too. We're just ready to get back to work and get after it."