John Tyler Gets Past Carthage In Volleyball Season-Opener
TYLER -- It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a successful start to the volleyball season for the John Tyler Lady Lions.
John Tyler overcame a shoddy start to earn a 3-1 victory over Carthage, 24-26, 25-18, 25-21, 25-16, Tuesday night at the Lions Den in the first game of the season for both teams.
JT (1-0), looking to build on its 27-win 2011, took control of the match early in the second set by scoring six consecutive points to open up a 7-1 lead. Most of the run consisted of unforced errors by Carthage.
"We have a lot of work to do," JT coach Stephanie March-Smith said. "We need to work on our attacking."
The Lady Lions' attack was a group effort, led by DeDe Rouge's nine kills and Amicia Williams' seven.
"That's what we expect because we don't have a go-to (attacker)," March-Smith said. "Everybody has to be the go-to. I'm trying to get that concept in their head."
Most of the Lady Lions' attacking points were set up by senior setter Quaneshia Johnson, who finished with 18 assists.
"That's my senior; that's the one," March-Smith said of Johnson. "I just need her to keep her focus."
Carthage (0-1) was paced by junior outside hitter Iesha Bryant, who contributed a match-high 14 kills, the majority of which were aided by the setting of Kenzie Tate, who racked up 26 assists.
"As great of a setter as (Tate) is, you can't set the ball if you can't get a pass," Carthage coach Roger Waters said.
Carthage hurt itself in several instances throughout the night by committing several unforced errors. JT's first kill of the fourth and match-clinching set didn't occur until Rouge's spike put JT ahead 14-8.
"We're pretty young and we've got a lot of young kids coming out," Waters said. "We should be strong, but we've just got to get over that mental hurdle."
JT continues its season this weekend at the Mansfield tournament beginning on Thursday. Carthage hosts its own tournament on Thursday and Saturday with a match against Rio Vista sandwiched between Friday.