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Iesha Bryant + Marisah Ingram Lead Balanced Carthage Attack Past Palestine

Carthage’s Iesha Bryant slams a kill during the Lady Dogs’ three-game playoff sweep of Palestine on Monday night in Whitehouse. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

WHITEHOUSE — Carthage wasted little time asserting its will in Monday night’s Class 3A Region III bi-district volleyball playoff.

The Lady Dogs cruised to a 25-16 Game 1 win before sweeping the match with second-set and third-set victories of 25-13, 25-8 against Palestine at Wildcat Arena behind more than 20 combined kills from senior Iesha Bryant and junior Marisah Ingram.

Carthae’s Marish Ingram spikes a kill during Monday night’s playoff win vs. Palestine in Whitehouse. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

Bryant, who is committed to Tennessee, finished with a match-high 12 kills and two blocks, while Ingram had nine kills. Senior setter Kenzie Tate recorded 29 assists and one ace as Carthage improved to 33-8 entering Thursday’s 7 p.m. area playoff against West at Palestine High School.

“I think that we serve-received very, very well. We know that we’re strong offensively,” said Carthage head coach Leven Barker. “If we can pass like we did tonight, it’s tough for teams to stop us continuously.”

Carthage 6-foot freshman Alli Capps had five kills, while junior Morgan Davis added three kills and one block.

“We want to mix it up some. We know who our two go-to girls are, but we’ve gotta be able to mix it up the further we go. That way people can’t camp on one or two players and they’ve gotta cover the whole floor to cover all of our hitters.”

Junior Rokayah Beavers led Palestine with six kills, three assists, and one ace. Junior Nai’koshia Handsborough had two kills, while sophomore Geneva Spreen added five assists.

Carthage senior Amber Weatherford served two aces. Senior Morgan Wedgeworth, who led Carthage’s defense from her libero spot, joined senior Kelsey Sharpe and junior Brianna Gwinn with one ace apiece.

“Once we settled in, our serving was really, really good, and it got us a lot of free balls and got us a lot of aces.”

The win pushed Barker’s career win total to 447.

Palestine, which finished fourth in District 19-3A, suffered 11 service errors in the first two sets to aid Carthage’s cause.

Carthage’s Amber Chaffin digs the ball as teammates Kelsey Sharpe (left) and Morgan Wedgeworth (white jersey) look on during the Lady Dogs’ three-game playoff sweep of Palestine on Monday night at Whitehouse’s Wildcat Arena. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

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