Volleyball: Gilmer + Carthage Advance, Tatum + Spring Hill Eliminated
TYLER -- Allie Fennell was excited.
Sure, it's normal for players to get excited for playoff games. Gilmer was set to play Tatum in the first round of the 4A Region 2 playoffs at Tyler Junior College, so plenty of players were excited.
None more than Fennell, though, who had been out since Aug. 31 with a hand injury.
In here first game back, she led Gilmer to a sweep of Tatum. The Lady Buckeyes won with scores of 25-15 25-20 and 25-5.
"I think Allie has been itching to get back since she broke her hand," coach Kiara Jordan said. "She's been ready to play since she broke her hand. She came out on fire. She's a leader on the court for our team. She's did what she needed to do and that definitely made the difference and boosted everybody else's confidence level."
Fennell finished with X kills and X assists.
Gilmer was in control of the game from the beginning. After rolling through the first set to victory, the Lady Buckeyes had some trouble in the second set. Tatum figured some things out and got help from its blockers, but couldn't get over the hump, falling 25-20.
From there, the spirits of the Lady Eagles simply seemed defeated. They came out flat in the final set, scoring only five points before accepting defeat.
"We just had perfect effort," Jordan said. "We were going for balls and being aggressive swinging, we were serving aggressively. I think that made the difference."
Next up for Gilmer is a match with Wills Point, who defeated Paris to advance to the area round.
Carthage sweeps Spring Hill
When it looked like Spring Hill might force a fourth set, Carthage came roaring back.
Despite being down as much as 17-9 in the final set, Carthage came back to earn a 25-23 victory and secure the sweep against Spring Hill on Tuesday in a first round playoff match at Tyler Junior College.
DeDe Pope came alive down the stretch to score five of Carthage's final seven points.
"I thought she did real well," coach Leven Barker said. "She regrouped and that's what you've got to do. When she came back in she had her head back to her and started making some smarter plays tipping the ball and stuff like that.
Carthage started off hot, going up 10-1 in the first set early and forcing a Spring Hill timeout. Spring Hill made a comeback, but the initial hole dug was too deep. It lost that set, 25-17.
The second set was fairly even, and Spring Hill even had an 8-7 lead at one point. But a Carthage run spurred by an enormous team effort from the likes of Pope, Emily Pyle and Savannah Gwinn helped the Lady Bulldogs surge ahead.
Carthage eventually won the set, 25-11.
Finally, Spring Hill seemed to get its break. It jumped out to a huge lead and kept it for most of the game. Just went it appeared this one would be going to a fourth set, Pope did her thing.
Barker said he was proud of his team's performance tonight.
"We've come back several times this year," he said. "I kind of reminded them of that. We've done this before and we were making a ton of errors and Spring Hill was serving the ball really well. The rest of the way, we minimized our errors a lot."
Next up for Carthage is a matchup with Rains, who defeated Liberty-Eylau to advance to the area round.