No. 4 Spring Hill Rallies for 3-1 Area Volleyball Playoff Victory Over Wills Point
TYLER -- Spring Hill senior Savannah Voelzke and junior Rachel Riestenberg had their usual strong performances in Thursday night's Class 3A Region II area volleyball playoff, but a freshman delivered big when the fourth-ranked Lady Panthers needed a spark.
Spring Hill freshman Ann Hollas racked up 20 kills to help the Lady Panthers bounce back from a Game 2 loss and down Wills Point 25-19, 24-26, 25-21, 25-15 to advance to next week's 3A Region II quarterfinal round against Henderson or Emory Rains.
Hollas' 20 kills complemented the usual huge night from Voelzke. The Arkansas commit registered a match-high 23 kills and five blocks, while Riestenberg dished out a whopping 47 assists. Junior Jacey Fleet added six kills and one ace to help the Lady Panthers improve to 37-2 entering the third round of the playoffs.
"Ann is just a natural volleyball player. She sees things that a lot of times you can't teach kids to see," said Spring Hill coach Karen Brundrett. "She's a competitor. When she gets blocked, she comes back. She may not show it, but she's ready to go at them again. We're just very lucky and blessed to have a player like that coming through."
After a Game 1 that saw Spring Hill jumped to a 13-6 lead en route to a relatively easy 25-19 victory, Wills Point (22-11) stormed back from a four-point deficit late in Game 2 to steal a 26-24 win.
That was Spring Hill's first game loss in its last 13 matches.
"Savannah and Aly (Curtis), the captains, pretty much just step up and say 'if we want this you've got to go do it,' and we did it," Hollas said of the Lady Panthers' response to the Game 2 loss.
Brundrett noted her team's ability to avoid panicking after the Game 2 setback.
"I have to give credit to Wills Point. They were even better than they were the other night when we scouted them," Brundrett said. "If one thing was going to help us, it was going to be our maturity on the court, and it's been four years coming. Each year they have added maturity and poise. We should've had that second game, and we gave it up."
But Spring Hill roared back in Game 3. Voelzke and Hollas led an 8-1 run that gave the Lady Panthers an 11-7 advantage, then Fleet joined the effort later in the set during a 6-2 spurt for a 21-15 edge. A service error tallied the game-winning point, 25-21.
Spring Hill dominated down the stretch in Game 4. Leading 13-12, the Lady Panthers finished the match on a 12-3 run fueled by five points from Voelzke, who had two blocks sandwiched between two kills during the decisive part of the run.
Spring Hill plays Henderson or Emory Rains -- that match is 6 p.m. Saturday in Lindale -- on Monday or Tuesday.