Ashton Brown + Tatum Take Out Waskom in Sweep
TATUM -- It took a little longer than expected, but Tatum found its rhythm Tuesday night.
After struggling through the first two sets, the Lady Eagles cruised past Waskom in the third, 25-7 to complete the sweep. They won the first two sets 25-19 and 25-14, respectively.
"I didn't feel like we were communicating very well," coach Leven Barker said. "We were just kind of going through the motions. It seemed like as the match went on, we started communicating a little bit more. We started hitting the ball down instead of hitting it out."
Waskom jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first set thanks to a few Tatum miscues, but Barker held off on calling a timeout. Tatum scored the next five points to even the match, forcing a Waskom timeout. But the Lady Wildcats wouldn't;t go away quietly Sydney Michel came up with a few key blocks to keep the Lady Wildcats in it.
Tatum (19-6, 4-0 District 15-3A) would eventually score six in a row after finding itself down 16-14. The run was spurred by Jasmine Rogers, who had three aces during. She finished with four total after misfiring on her first serve of the evening.
"The thing about Jas, she has done that before," Barker said. "One night she missed her first and served 45 in a row throughout the next two or three games. She gets refocused really quick and our motto is to get refocused. We don't worry about the last one. She did a good job go that."
The Lady Eagles came out slow again in the second set, but pulled away thanks to Essence Allen. She had two kills and two assists in the midst of a 6-0 run to give Tatum a 15-8 lead.
Barker said though the slow start might have been frustrating to his players, he sees signs of progress in how they handled it.
"They're starting to understand the game better," he said. "When it was 15-15 in Set 1, I didn't have to say a whole lot. Most of the time I'm a little bit louder. I wanted to see us play through it. They did a good job of that."
Allen and Ashton Brown had a strong connection all night. They seemed to rotate setting each other up for easy kills, finishing with a combined 24 assists and 27 kills. Brown even finished things off with the final kill of the evening.
"They're our go-to girls," Barker said. "When they're on, they're tough to beat. They're very athletic and smart with the ball."
Tatum will look to keep its winning streak going when it faces Hughes Springs at 4:30 p.m. Friday in a varsity only match in Tatum.