Lindale Outlasts Whitehouse In Five Games To Set Up First-Place Tie In District 16-5A
WHITEHOUSE -- The top of the District 16-5A standings are officially fit to be tied, thanks to the Lindale Lady Eagles.
Lindale scored a 25-18, 25-21, 16-25, 20-25, 15-10 victory over league-leading Whitehouse on Tuesday night at Wildcat Arena to force a first-place tie in 16-5A.
"It puts us right now tied with Whitehouse, and that was our whole thing coming in tonight," said Lindale coach Meghan Renicker. "We either come out with the possibility of co-champs, or we get stuck in second."
Lindale (21-10, 7-1) and Whitehouse (23-11, 7-1), who each have six district contests remaining, would likely compete in a playoff for the district championship at regular season's end if both schools remain tied.
Lindale, which dropped a four-set decision to Whitehouse in the two rivals' first meeting back on Sept. 26, took a commanding 2-0 lead in Tuesday's match, but was forced to a decisive fifth set.
Despite playing on the road with a lively Whitehouse student section carrying on in the background, Lindale was able to finish what it started with a thrilling fifth-game victory.
"It was great," Renicker said. "They haven't lost a game in district this year, so we knew it was going to be tough. But we wanted this type of environment tonight, and I think we kinda fed off it."
The duo of Travicia Acy and Rhyan Rand came up big for Lindale. Acy finished the night with a match-high 21 kills to go along with a staggering 17 blocks. Rand, meanwhile, added 17 kills for the match.
Acy and Rand were huge down the stretch. Rand hammered home five kills, while Acy put together four kills and four blocks to help Lindale fend off Whitehouse in Game 5.
"Travicia played pretty well at the net tonight," Renicker said. "Rhyan plays smart and she plays hard the whole time she's out there, and those are two girls who just help us through every game."
Lindale's Kamryn Pilkington added eight kills and three blocks, while the setting duo of McKenna Cox and Kinsey Arnold finished with 31 and nine assists, respectively.
Whitehouse was led in defeat by Ashton Ates, who had 14 kills, a block and two aces. Megan Harris added 12 kills, Beth Hood provided nine kills and nine blocks, Kelly Keller chipped in with eight kills, a block and two aces, and Ronnie Fountain dished out a match-high 42 assists.
Lindale rolled to wins in the first two games, and it seemed as if the Lady Eagles might be able to escape Whitehouse with a clean sweep.
But Whitehouse began Game 3 on fire, eventually building a 17-7 lead before forcing a fourth game. In Game 4, Whitehouse was able to rally from an early 10-3 deficit by rattling off seven consecutive points to even the score. The set stayed close until Whitehouse scored the game's final five points for 25-20 win, forcing the winner-take-all fifth set.
"I just think we were playing better as a team in those first two (games), staying up and staying positive about things," Renicker said. "And then we go into 3 and 4, and we got down a little bit. We kinda gave up a little on points where we shouldn't have. But we talked about it during timeouts and in between games, and our girls really fought and came back."
Both teams are back in action Friday. Lindale plays host to Lufkin, while Whitehouse travels to Corsicana.