Gilmer Volleyball Maintains Perfect District Record With Sweep Of Kilgore
GILMER -- Kiara Jordan was a star at Midwestern State and quickly climbed the ranks to become the program's top assistant coach. She had a pretty good thing going in Wichita Falls.
It seems as if she's in a good spot once again as the first-year head coach at her other alma mater, Gilmer High School.
The Lady Buckeyes swept Kilgore, 25-12, 25-20, 25-14, Tuesday and remained undefeated in District 15-4A. Not a bad start to the season on the heels of last year's trip to the Class 4A Region II tournament, which helped promote former head coach Keely Peterson to the same position at East Texas Baptist University.
"Coming into this season, the team already had a goal," Jordan said. "They had a mindset. My job was to come in and make sure we do get back to that regional tournament, if not farther. I just want to make sure we stay focused, stay competing every day in practice and keep our goals in mind. We absolutely want to get back to where we were last year and do even better than that."
Gilmer (28-7, 7-0) lost its district title last season in a true championship game against the storied Spring Hill program after splitting the regular season series at one game apiece. This season, aided by seven seniors on a 14-person roster, the Lady Buckeyes seem to be in a class of their own.
The team has not lost a set against the other five district teams -- including Spring Hill -- and has now completed its two-match season series against Kilgore to go along with a closed book versus Chapel Hill.
Gladewater, Bullard and Spring Hill make up the final three matches of Gilmer's regular season schedule.
At this point, with a 6-1 district record, only Bullard stands a chance to contest for the district title. Spring Hill and Gladewater have dropped three or more league games.
Kilgore, which fell to 2-5 in district play, got into hot water early. It gave up an 8-1 opening run and only scored 12 points in the first set.
The Lady Buckeyes went on another tear to begin the second set for a 12-4 lead, but Kilgore tied the score at 13-13. From there, Gilmer went on an 11-6 run led by three points from Belynda Ray and two points from both Destiny Brooks and Mallery Stanley.
Kilgore gave up four points of a 10-2 run on errors to begin the third set and Gilmer clinched the match by outscoring it 15-12 afterward.
Allie Fennell had perhaps the biggest night for the Lady Buckeyes. In addition to 10 points scored on seven kills, two blocks and an aced serve, the junior setter recorded nine assists.
Ray led Gilmer in outright scoring with 10 kills and two blocks.
Laurent Bryant's six total points paced Kilgore in defeat.
Kilgore will visit Spring Hill on Friday. Gilmer simultaneously hosts Gladewater.
"What I like a lot is that this team is very versatile," Jordan said. "I can say, 'Hey, you go play outside. You go play middle. You go play right side.' Those kids step up and play whatever position they need to play. That's what I appreciate. I could not ask for more in my first year."