Tyler Lee Records 25-12, 25-23, 25-21 Sweep of District 12-5A Rival Longview
TYLER — Defense was the name of the game for the Tyler Lee Lady Raiders on Tuesday night.
Behind the solid net play of Rebekah Bowden and the stellar back-line defense of Taylor Winchester, Tyler Lee cruised to a 25-12, 25-23, 25-21 victory over District 12-5A rival Longview at Lee Varsity Gymnasium.
Tyler Lee improved to 23-11 overall and 4-3 in district play.
“We got a few more touches on the blocks and that’s improvement for us,” said Lee coach Melissa Lee. “We started off a little flat … (Longview) made a lot of mistakes in the first game. But even when they got ahead, we were able to maintain our composure and not get rattled.”
Bowden finished the match with 10 kills and eight blocks, while the Lady Raiders libero Winchester tallied 27 digs on the night.
“She’s a good little defensive player,” Lee said of Winchester. “She’s really aware of the court and she seems to be able to tell who’s not getting the ball and anticipates real well.”
Claire Himes added seven kills and two blocks for Lee, which swept the season series from the Lady Lobos (12-22, 1-6). Dajah Thomas finished with two kills and two blocks, while Nicole Trpkosh and Genesis Borens combined for 15 assists in the win.
Longview was led by Naqwavian Nelson, who had 11 kills and two blocks. Aleesha Coffer added eight kills and two blocks, Chantrel Hutchings had four kills and five blocks, Kaitlyn Adams and Margaret Kelly combined for 10 kills, seven assists and two blocks and Maleia Wilson dished out a team-high 10 assists.
Lee led for most of the match, but allowed Longview to remain within striking distance in Games 2 and 3.
“Fewer unforced errors, that’s what we’ve been working on all season and that’s what we need to keep working on,” Lee said. “We’re getting a little better, but we still need to improve.”
The Lady Raiders began the opening game on an 11-1 run, eventually building an 18-5 lead behind three kills from Bowden and two from Himes.
Longview took a brief 12-11 lead in Game 2, but Lee regained control of the game with a 3-0 run that was highlighted by two kills and two blocks by Bowden.
The Lady Lobos got off to a 7-5 lead in the third game, but Lee reeled off eight of the next nine points to keep a firm distance from Longview the rest of the way.
“When we’re playing a team that we’e got to beat we’ve got to have somebody step up and put the ball away,” Lee said. “They gave us a lot of free balls and easy balls, but we didn’t always capitalize on that. Capitalizing on free balls and easy passes is what we’ve got to focus on.”
Longview’s season resumes Friday at Rockwall-Heath. Lee is off Friday, but returns to action next Tuesday at Rockwall-Heath.