John Tyler Roars Back for Five-Game Victory at Whitehouse to Clinch No. 2 Seed in District 16-4A
WHITEHOUSE -- Quaneshia Johnson said her John Tyler Lady Lions knew how to fight, and that's exactly what they did in a key District 16-4A volleyball match Tuesday night at Wildcat Arena.
The senior setter and JT stormed back from 1-0 and 2-1 match deficits to beat Whitehouse 19-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-15, 15-8 to clinch the No. 2 playoff seed from 16-4A entering the Class 4A Region II playoffs.
Johnson had three kills, a match-high 40 assists, and two aces for John Tyler, which finished 16-4A play 8-2 thanks to a surge in the latter portion of Game 4 that carried the Lady Lions to victory in the fifth set. John Tyler fell behind 13-11 after a four-point Whitehouse run in Game 4, but closed the set on a 14-2 capped by Amicia Williams' block to tie the match.
John Tyler outscored Whitehouse 29-10 the rest of the match after Whitehouse took that 13-11 Game 4 lead.
"We know what it is to learn how to fight. We've been in this experience before last year when we had to go five games with them, so we know what it's like," Johnson said. "We just played to the end like we did last year and we just came out and finished."
Williams had a kill and a block during JT's 5-0 start to Game 5. Whitehouse cut JT's lead to 5-4 and 10-7, but Williams again answered with a kill that sparked a 5-1 run to end the match. Johnson's third kill of the night ended Game 5, 15-8.
Johnson said the Lady Lions never felt pressure despite falling behind 1-0 after Game 1 and 2-1 after Game 3.
"We know how to fight back. We're a team that fights back," Johnson said. "We get down, but we've learned how to fight, and that's just what we've got to do to finish the game."
Erica Franklin led John Tyler with 18 kills and an ace, while Williams had 16 kills and two blocks. Whitehouse's Fulani Petties had a match-high 20 kills and three blocks, but the LadyCats managed to set her up for only four kills in the final three games. Angela Knight had five kills and 28 assists for Whitehouse, which got 19 assists from Ronnie Fountain and 11 kills, one block, and an ace from Lindsey Hannah.
The loss relegates Whitehouse to the No. 3 spot in 16-4A. The LadyCats enter the playoffs 22-13 overall and 6-4 in district.
Petties had two kills and an ace during a 7-1 run that capped a 25-19 Game 1 win for Whitehouse, which ended the set on a Kaitlyn Anderson kill. Anderson had a strong performance off the bench with 10 kills.
John Tyler erased a 21-18 Game 2 deficit, tying the score at 23-23 before surging ahead for a 26-24 match-tying win on a Williams kill. Game 3 was Whitehouse's turn to come back. A Hannah kill sparked a 6-1 run that gave Whitehouse a 20-17 lead, but JT tied it 21-21 before a 4-1 Whitehouse run capped by another Anderson game-ending kill put the LadyCats up 2-1 in the match.
John Tyler lead 11-9 in Game 4 before the aforementioned 4-0 Whitehouse run, which prompted the Lady Lions' dominant comeback in the match' final game and a half.
Tuesday's performance reaffirmed Johnson's belief that the Lady Lions are playing their best at the right time.
"I feel like we're peaking at the right time going into the playoffs," Johnson said. "Everybody's communicating, hitting well, passing, doing what we've got to do to win."