Lindale Finishes Off Tyler All Saints In Four + Extends Hot Start To Season
TYLER -- So far, so good for Lindale's first-year head volleyball coach Jessica Camp, whose Lady Eagles improved to 7-1 on the young season with a 25-18, 25-18, 27-29, 25-15 victory over Tyler All Saints on Tuesday night at Brookshire Gym.
Camp, who replaced Meghan Renicker as Lindale's coach prior to the season, said the team's hot start comes as no surprise to her.
"I feel like we have a lot of talent on the team, and we have some good seniors that have experience and should be leading the team," she said. "And so, it doesn't surprise me that we're doing well."
Lindale will attempt to carry over the early-season momentum into the Allen Tournament this Friday and Saturday.
"I still maybe want to finish games sooner, I want them to keep pushing to get better," Camp added.
For All Saints, fourth-year head coach Bryan Winegeart is testing his team's physical limits by playing some of East Texas' top volleyball programs in non-district, despite a limited roster of just eight players.
"We're playing teams (in non-district) who we can't get away with mistakes against," he said. "We've played Longview, White Oak, and now Lindale. And all three of those are teams that you can't get away with silly mistakes, which is what I want my team to understand. There are teams that we play against that we can get away with those sometimes, but that's not the type of team I want to have."
The sibling combination of senior Rhyan Rand and sophomore Ryleigh Rand led Lindale's attack Tuesday night. Rhyan finished with a team-best 16 kills, while her younger sister provided nine kills and four aces.
"Rhyan is always very solid," Camp said. "If she comes off the court, it's probably because we're winning really big. She's definitely a solid kid that is a senior, a good leader, and one of our captains."
Little sister isn't very far behind.
"There are multiple times in practice where, I think that was Rhyan and I'm like, 'oh, alright, little sis. You're coming along,'" Camp said. "So I'm excited to see her throughout the year peak, and then keep going on from there."
The setting duo of McKenna Cox and Peyton Mizell teamed for 37 assists, with Cox's 26 leading the way. Avery Bridges provided four blocks, while Rajel Flores served up a team-best five aces.
Ferrell Clyde led All Saints in the losing effort with 18 kills and three blocks.
"Ferrell's been phenomenal ever since last season when she took on that leadership role," Winegeart said. "She's really grown into a great volleyball player. This season, I expect the exact same thing from her: leading this team through some tough times. She gets us out of some really rough spots, but I really expect her to step up as even a bigger leader. We have a very small team, so if she's not going well, it's not going to be a great night for the Trojans."
Liz Enloe and Hanna Waits combined for 16 kills, while setter Frances Hackney set up nearly every All Saints point, finishing her night with 34 assists.
"I have been blessed since I've been here," Winegeart said. "Before Frances, I had Maddie Smith, and those are two really good (setters) who can just go, go, go, and don't let a whole lot of balls drop. It is a very rare trait you find in kids. Fran was kind of lurched into that position this year. We had a junior setter that was supposed to be returning and didn't end up returning, and she's stepped into those shoes and just completely ran with it. I'm very pleased with her."
The first two games were competitive for stretches.
Lindale jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the first set, but All Saints got back into it with a 9-2 run that cut its deficit to 21-18, before the Lady Eagles finished it off with four consecutive points.
All Saints led for most of Game 2, but a critical 9-0 Lindale run pushed the Lady Eagles' lead to 24-16.
The Lady Trojans and Lindale went back and forth in the third set, with All Saints forcing a fourth game by finally securing a 29-27 victory.
However, Lindale started strong in Game 4, and never looked back, avoiding a winner-take-all fifth set.
"Lindale was good all night long, but with only eight girls playing (for us), long nights become a little bit tough," Winegeart said. "But we can't use that as an excuse. That's something that we have to fight through; that's our reality. So, we've got to be able to deal with that."
All Saints will not play again until next Tuesday when it hosts Frisco Legacy Christian.