Longview Shocks No. 6 Hallsville For Signature Win
HALLSVILLE -- Things were status quo at the Ladycats' place through the first two games of their District 15-5A match against Longview. Fans were probably about to call ahead to whoever was home to get dinner in the oven.
But momentum swung wildly in the other direction. The Lady Lobos rallied from down two sets for a 3-2 win, 18-25, 18-25, 25-17, 26-24, 15-11.
"This is the best thing I've ever been a part of," Longview senior outside hitter Halee Brewer said. "This is the most excited I've been about a season. I tore my ACL my junior year and now I'm here as a senior. This moment hasn't happened since I've been in high school, and I've been in high school for three and going on four years."
Pardon the Lady Lobos' student section for rushing Hallsville's home floor.
The Ladycats (31-2, 6-1) entered the week ranked No. 6 state-wide in Class 5A in the Texas Girls Coaches Association's poll. They had been as high as No. 2. They were the only one-loss team in the classification prior to Tuesday.
Hallsville senior setter Haley Boyett had another fantastic night. You name almost any kill, she had the assist in addition to six aces and a handful of kills on her own. Allison Lawrence answered the bell again and again with blocks to deflate Longview early and finished with 12 kills.
Lady Lobos head coach Chaka Jackson's team just wasn't going to be denied once it got clicking in its second district tilt with the Ladycats. It had lost at home in four sets earlier in the season.
Brewer and junior Kaitlyn Adams willed the team to a victory with emotion and timely big plays. The supporting cast rose up and turned Longview (21-11, 6-2) into one of the best teams in the state. At least for one night.
"We have beaten Hallsville before, but never before in a district game," Jackson said. "To come back from being down two games, I mean, we proved a point tonight."
There wasn't much of an indication something special was about to happen.
The Ladycats broke an 18-all score in the first frame with Boyett serving for seven straight points. The favorite outscored Longview 23-14 in the second set and thwarted off a minor comeback effort for a 25-18 win.
No big deal.
But Adams opened the third set with a hard kill and then Brewer followed it with a block high above the net. The duo combined for 11 points in the third game while Hallsville committed an uncharacteristically high six errors on the way to a 25-17 decision.
Brewer scored 13 points in the final two sets and Adams finished with nine points over the same span.
Longview led the fourth game 22-14, but it had to hang on once Hallsville got a second wind. The Ladycats tied the score at 24-all.
Brewer scored the Lady Lobos' 25th point on a kill assisted by Victoria Pearson, who had 14 assists in the match. Miranda Welborn's ace sealed the set a few seconds later.
Longview looked like it was going to mow over the Ladycats in the fifth set with its initial 9-1 run.
Hallsville battled back with an 8-2 spree of its own for an 11-9 deficit, but a net violation and three unforced errors clinched Longview's match win.
"It really means a lot to us that we beat a ranked team," Adams said. "Throughout this whole season, we've been reading that Hallsville is a ranked program. We were like, 'We know we can beat them. We just have to believe.' It really meant a lot to us.
"We've been going around saying Hallsville beat us and, finally, after a few years, we can say that we finally beat Hallsville."
Brewer had 25 points through the entire match. Adams finished with 17 points.
It was an emotional win.
The Longview student base wanted to celebrate. The team itself wanted to pray. Together, they formed a prayer circle and were off in less than a minute. A team celebration took place in the locker room.
It's definitely a victory the Lady Lobos will hold onto beyond the season, but other district challenges await. They will host Marshall on Friday.
The Ladycats, still in outstanding position for the district title, will remain at home Friday against Mt. Pleasant.
"For us, it lets everyone on our team know we can do it," Brewer said. "We have the confidence to do it and God is going to get us through it. So I'm excited for what's left."