TYLER -- Momentum was on Tyler Lee’s side Tuesday.

The Red Raiders used a number of momentum swings to defeat Hallsville, 3-1. The biggest moment came in the final set.

With Hallsville facing defeat, it began to mount a comeback. The Ladycats strung together several scores and looked to be getting back into the match when suddenly, there was a shift. Aliyah Shirley noticed a weak spot in the defense. Usually the setter, Shirley decided this time to catch Hallsville (5-6) off guard and tap it over the net. The score gave the Lady Raiders enough juice to push through and win the match.

“Volleyball is a game of momentum,” Tyler Lee coach Kristee Porter said.  “One thing could send you into a spiral. What our team is working on is managing those one things, and not letting it send us into a decline. It’s a young team. They’re still learning, still growing. Momentum shifts were happening periodically throughout the match.”

April Brown was quiet all night. Until the final match.

Brown came to life for the Lady Raiders (4-2), earning several kills and solo blocks to lift Tyler Lee to victory. She led the team with 14 kills in the match. Her dominant closing performance was a big part of why Lee came away with a victory.

“I sent out an assistant coach,” Porter said. “Really (we told her) just be aggressive and be smart. It doesn’t take much to get her motivated. Just the slightest thing will get her ready.”

After taking the first set 25-16, Tyler Lee was set back in the second.

Hallsville took advantage of several opportunities to send powerful kills the Lady Raiders’ way and evened things with a 25-17 victory.

Although the third set appeared it would be even, Lee took advantage of the momentum Porter alluded to. It turned a 13-13 tie into a 24-17 advantage and eventual 25-18 win to put itself in the driver’s set for the remainder of the match.

Ashley Oldham finished second on the team with 12 kills, while Neely Williams also came up big several times, recording seven kills.

Porter now looks ahead to her team’s next match and what she can take with them from this game.

“I take this and I go watch film tomorrow,” she said. “We go to practice, work on those things and get ready for the tournament. We’re still a work in progress. Tonight’s match was a good test for us because Hallsville is such a good team with really strong players. I thought they did a good job tonight. It gives me a better picture of where we are as a team.”

Lee will face Sulphur Springs at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Lee High School. Hallsville has a match against Longview at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29 in Longview.

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