No. 15 Hallsville Makes Quick Work Of John Tyler + Advances To Area Round With Sweep
TYLER -- It might not have been up to Hallsville coach Kayla Jackson's standards, but the 15th-ranked Ladycats escaped their Class 5A Region II bi-district playoff match with a clean sweep.
Hallsville rolled to a 25-14, 25-16, 25-10 victory over John Tyler at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gymnasium, advancing the Ladycats to the area round of the playoffs where they will face Mansfield Lake Ridge later this week.
"I know it's only going to get harder," Jackson said following her team's playoff win. "I felt like we kind of got lax in some of the games; we didn't finish as well as we should. In Game 3, we did; we came out and had fun."
Erin McCallum paced Hallsville (38-3) with eight kills. Laura Rose Gray added six kills and a block, Haley Boyett dished out 24 assists to go with four kills and three aces, while the trio of Allison Lawrence, Savannah McAmis and Audrey Slaten combined for 10 kills.
"It's really important in those games to go out and earn your own points and not wait for mistakes," Jackson said. "I think we did a real good job of that this last game. Each match is really important; we need to make sure we do what we need to do and are where we need to be."
Hallsville, the top seed from District 15-5A, never trailed in the match's opening set, and was behind only briefly at the beginning of Games 2 and 3. An 11-0 run during the middle of the third game broke it wide open by giving Hallsville a commanding 22-8 lead.
"We treat them like any other team," Jackson said of John Tyler. "We scout, we watch film, we go in and prepare, we know what they do and we know what we need to do on our side. It is tough to get them mentally focused because they do know that we're coming in to play a four seed."
The Lady Lions were led in defeat by Jo Preston, who finished with seven kills. Chenique Baxter added five kills and two aces, Deedy Rouege supplied three kills and three blocks, while Kandice Jackson finished with a team-best 15 assists.
Despite the sweep, Jackson said her team must play better as the playoffs progress.
"When we go to the next round, they know we're going to play much better competition," the Hallsville coach said. "And I guarantee their mindset will be different. It's really hard to coach that, but you just have to drill it in practice and make sure that they don't let up and act like someone's going to lay down for them."