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Third-Ranked Spring Hill Breezes Into Regional Quarterfinals With Sweep of Wills Point

Spring Hill's Jenna Hampton tips the ball over the net during the Lady Panthers' home win against Lindale earlier this season. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
Spring Hill’s Jenna Hampton tips the ball over the net during the Lady Panthers’ home win against Lindale earlier this season. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

WHITEHOUSE — Despite an opening-round sweep of Athens on Monday night, Spring Hill coach Karen Brundrett was less than pleased with her team’s effort.

The Lady Panthers earned the same result Thursday night, but the coach was more impressed with how it was achieved.

“All of us, including myself, overlooked Athens and and you should never do that,” said Brundrett after Spring Hill’s 25-15, 25-16, 25-17 sweep of Wills Point in their Class 3A Region II area-round playoff. “We made an adjustment in what we were going to do — taking it one game at a time and see what happens from there.”

Spring Hill (37-2) will face Crandall in the regional quarterfinals either Monday or Tuesday at a time and site to be determined.

Sophomore middle blocker Jenna Hampton continued her solid play by turning in another stellar effort on both sides of the net, finishing with a team-high tying 12 kills and four blocks.

“Jenna has worked this season on timing with (setter Rachel Riestenberg) and that doesn’t just happen in a week’s time,” Brundrett said. “She has continued to work and had the attitude of ‘I’m going to get this.’ And it is paying off for us big time right now in the playoffs. We really need that; she did a great job.”

Fellow sophomore, outside hitter Ann Hollas, also racked up 12 kills to go with 10 digs and three aces. Jacey Fleet added six kills, five digs and an ace, Mikai Brown registered five kills, 10 digs and an ace and Riestenberg had 28 assists, two kills and three aces.

Hampton’s impact was felt in Games 1 and 2, especially as she picked up a combined nine kills and two blocks.

“She’s been working on knowing where she is at the net — the distance and side to side and watching the hitters; her timing is much better on the blocks,” Brundrett said of Hampton’s defense at the net.

Wills Point led just three times during the match, and did not lead Spring Hill until midway through the second game at 9-8. But two kills apiece from Hampton and Brown during a 5-1 run helped Spring Hill re-take control and coast to 2-0 lead.

Game 3 was the most competitive of the match. Wills Point took an early 7-5 lead before Spring Hill — behind a pair of blocks and a kill from Hampton and on-point serving by Hollas and Riestenberg — went on an 8-1 run to go up 13-8.

Wills Point was able trim to the lead to 15-14, but the Lady Panthers put the match out of reach by winning six of the next seven points thanks to a pair of aces from Audrey Collier and two kills by Fleet.

Norma Cunigan led Wills Point in the losing cause with 10 kills and two blocks. Mikala Denton added six kills and two aces and Leslie Wright finished with 11 assists and one kill.

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