DICKINSON – Lady Gators’ standout Nayo Warnell isn’t one to make too much of her serving skills, not even after a match where she led the team on backbreaking 11-0 and 7-0 runs to cap off an undefeated day for Dickinson.
Warnell totaled five aces during the two key Dickinson scoring streaks as the Lady Gators topped Pasadena Dobie, 25-11, 25-17, in the final match of the day at their home tournament Thursday.
“What I usually just do is bounce the ball the same amount of times before each serve, and try to get it over and not have my coach yell at me about getting my serves over the net,” Warnell said. “As long as I get them over and the team gets the point, it makes everyone happy.”
Because of her strength attacking and racking up kills as a middle blocker, Warnell is not called on too frequently to serve, so she took a level of pride in recording more aces (five) than kills (three) in the Dobie match
“Getting a kill is pretty normal, but since I don’t get to serve sometimes, an ace is more satisfying,” Warnell said.
Dickinson started off slow in the opening game of its match with Dobie, falling behind 3-5 early.
After winning the next point, it was Warnell’s turn to serve.
Eleven straight points later, the Lady Gators were in full control.
Dobie would be more competitive in the second game, but after a Warnell kill put Dickinson up 15-11, the Lady Gators would go on another streak with Warnell serving.
Dobie didn’t score again until Dickinson was out in front 23-11.
Kaitlyn Larner led Dickinson in kills with nine in the match.
Arien Joyce had a team-high 13 digs, and Bailee Berringer led in assists with 13.
The Lady Gators swept Pasadena Sam Rayburn and edged Goose Creek Memorial in three games in the day’s earlier action.
Head coach Mitzi Matthews pointed to defense and setting as team strengths throughout the entire day.
“Arien Joyce played really well. (She) played good defense,” Matthews said. “Bailee, my little setter, does a good job of running the court.”
Featuring 40 teams, the Dickinson Tournament, which concludes Saturday, is the largest high school volleyball tournament in Galveston County and the second largest in the Houston area.
The field of 40 teams ties Dickinson’s 2012 event for the largest field in the tournament’s 21-year history.
The Texas City Lady Stings were swept by Barbers Hill, 18-25, 15-25, in their opening match, but rebounded with a 25-15, 25-20 win over Alief Hastings, and a 25-19, 25-19 win over Ball High on Thursday at the Dickinson Tournament.
Treslyn Ortiz was the Lady Stings’ kills leader on the day with 29 total.
Hailee King added 11 kills.
Ball High lost the aforementioned match to Texas City and fell to 6A power Deer Park, 10-25, 16-25, but notched a 25-19, 25-18 win over Beaumont West Brook in the tournament’s opening day.
Sheridan Hopkins was the Lady Tors’ kills leader on the day with 14.