Lindale Stays Unbeaten in 16-4A With Four-Game Victory Over John Tyler
TYLER -- Lindale volleyball coach Meghan Koonce wanted no part of a fifth game against John Tyler during their District 16-4A showdown Tuesday night.
Koonce didn't have to worry after the Lady Eagles rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth set of Lindale's 16-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22 victory.
The win put Lindale (20-9, 4-0) in sole possession of first place in 16-4A, while the Lady Lions (20-9, 3-1) dropped their first district match of the season.
Lindale trailed 17-10 in Game 4, before the Lady Eagles rallied to take nine of the set's next 10 points.
"I don't like going into a fifth game with anyone, especially (John Tyler), because I've seen them pull things out," Koonce said. "They're a tough, little team to beat."
Zhanelle Geathers' spike gave Lindale its first lead of the game, 19-18. John Tyler responded with the next two points before the Lady Eagles went up 23-20 on a trio of Geathers kills and an ace from Kaitlin Rice.
The Lady Lions got within a point, 23-22, but Lindale was able to finish off the match with the next two points, the clincher coming on a Savannah Cantrell spike.
"We lost a little momentum there at the beginning (of the fourth game)," Koonce said. "We made a few changes in the lineup and the girls came out and did what I told them. I told them they've got to hit to get any points and quit giving them free balls. The girls come out fighting and they wanted it tonight."
Geathers led Lindale with 18 kills and five blocks. Cantrell had nine kills and five aces, Hannah Brown registered seven kills and a pair of aces and Sydney Tiiman assisted on 34 points.
John Tyler was led by Amicia Williams and Erica Franklin, who finished with 15 and 13 kills, respectively. DeDe Rouge added seven kills and two blocks, while Quaneshia Johnson had 36 assists.
"We played good, but Lindale was just the better team today," John Tyler coach Stephanie March-Smith said. "We knew going in that we had to be a better passing team, and we didn't pass as well as we should have against a good, solid team like Lindale."
John Tyler was the aggressor at the outset, dominating Lindale in Game 1. The Lady Lions broke open a 12-12 game by scoring eight of nine points, fueled by a key block and kill from Kashanti Flowers.
Lindale broke through in the second game, taking a 16-10 lead on seven consecutive points, highlighted by back-to-back aces from Cantrell.
In the third game, the Lady Eagles took control by scoring seven of eight points for a 17-11 lead. Geathers helped finish off the game with a kill and a pair of blocks.
"My girls were real excited to come out and play tonight," Koonce said. "Offensively, we finally got out of our slump after that first game and really started hitting a little better. John Tyler's a great team, they really play great defense. My girls knew that, and we knew we had to swing away against them."
Lindale looks to remain perfect in district on Friday when the Lady Eagles host Nacogdoches. John Tyler aims to rebound Friday at home against Whitehouse.
"Lindale was the better team today, and we know what we need to work on," March-Smith said.