Bullard Makes Easy Work of Spring Hill in Sweep
BULLARD -- Bullard didn't let a slow start get in its way.
Despite a rough go in the first set, Bullard got its act together to complete a sweep of Spring Hill on Tuesday. Bullard won by scores of 25-12, 25-11 and 25-10.
"We just came off of beating a team in Gilmer who is very big, very strong and up-tempo," coach Cristy O'Bannon said. "This is just a different pace. We came in wanting to have fun and enjoy the environment, but we got a little sloppy with some of our passes. We needed to stay focused and stay on track and make sure we didn't make too many mistakes."
Up only 12-8 in the first set, Bullard outscored Spring Hill 13-4 to finish the set and secure a victory. It was an impressive stretch led by Sara McKeethan, who displayed plenty of power on her kills. She finished with 17 to lead all players in the match.
"She was actually out with an injury all preseason," O'Bannon said. "She just came back in during district. She got an opportunity to lead during the sideline during that time which was very beneficial. She's very vocal. She's involved in every play even if she doesn't touch the ball. She's instrumental not only physically, but emotionally."
McKeethan also tied for the team lead in digs with Keili Richmond. They both had six apiece. Libby Eitel finished with 14 assists and Sarah Lewinski led Bullard with four aces.
The final set was perhaps Bullard's most complete. It jumped out to a 15-4 lead behind McKeethan and Ashlyn Meador, who finished with six kills. Bullard struggle a bit to close the set, making mental errors to give up a few extra points near the end. However, the Panthers closed the set by scoring the final five points, including a deafening kill from McKeethan as the final blow.
Bullard improved to 24-10 and 9-0 in District 16-4A, while Spring Hill fell to 4-18 and 1-6. Bullard will next face Cumberland Academy at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Tyler.
With three district games remaining, O'Bannon is hopeful her team can close the season with an unblemished record.
"Gilmer is in second behind us and we beat them both times, so as long as we can stay on track we can finish out as district champs," she said. "We just need to take care of the ball in those three games and we're set."