PEARLAND – The Clear Falls Knights shined Thursday on the opening day of the 2014 adidas Volleyball Invitiational in Pearland, the largest high school volleyball tournament in the state, winning all three matches and toppling the state’s No. 1-ranked 4A team.
In the final match of their day, the 2013 5A state semifinalists Clear Falls faced 2013 3A state champions Decatur, with the winner taking the top spot in the Division 10 pool of the 87-team tournament.
The Knights overcame a shaky start to sweep the Lady Eagles, 25-22, 25-15. Clear Falls head coach Lyndsay Hodges said her young team is still looking to buck early season jitters when they take the floor.
“They’re still trying to figure each other out, since only two at a time on the floor are returners that have been on the floor 100 percent of the time,” Hodges said.
The two returners, senior Alyssa Enneking and junior Ashlynn Dunbar, showed signs of settling into their roles as team leaders as each stepped up to help Clear Falls defeat Decatur.
“I’ve waited for this role for three years now, and I’m excited to finally get to watch the girls progress under my wing, and I’m just really excited to see where this team goes this year,” Enneking said.
Enneking — the 2013 Galveston County Player of the Year — had team-highs in kills with 21, digs with 16 and total blocks with five. While Enneking flashed her power on some kills, most of them came by way of tips and finesse shots that found holes in the Decatur defense.
“Everyone will tell you they love the feeling of getting a huge kill, but, more than likely, I’ll tell you most times I like tricking the defense — just because it involves being smart and not just having a strong arm,” Enneking said.
Dunbar added 14 digs in the match, and Taylor Hall had four blocks.
The opening game against Decatur began neck-and-neck between the two state powers, but the Knights quickly found themselves behind 14-9. After a timeout, Clear Falls outpaced Decatur 10-4 to take a 19-18 lead.
From that point, the Knights looked their dominant selves, closing out the first game with two straight kills by Enneking then having a Sophie Schaffs kill end the 25-15 second game emphatically.
Clear Falls defeated Bellaire, 25-17, 25-22, in the first game of the day. In the second game of the day, the Knights topped Round Rock McNeil, 25-13, 23-25, 25-11.
The Knights enter the second day of the tournament in the round three gold bracket with an opening round match against the winner of a play-in game between San Antonio Reagan and Alamo Heights.
Clear Falls’ first game will be 10 a.m. today at the Pearland Recreation Center’s Court 5.
Clear Creek 2, Pearland 0
PEARLAND – The Clear Creek Wildcats spoiled the party for hosts Pearland with a 25-15, 25-21 sweep in their final game of pool play at the Texas Volleyball Invitational on Thursday.
Hannah Froeschl led the Wildcats in kills with nine. Allison Donovan had a team-best 13 kills, and Mariah Pardo had all but one of the team’s assists with 25.
Clear Creek will play with winner of a play-in game between Mission Veterans Memorial and Lovejoy at 9 a.m. at the Searcy Center at Pearland High School.
Clear Creek 2, New Braunfels 1
PEARLAND – Clear Creek edged out a tough Unicorns squad, 22-25, 25-22, 28-26, in its second game of the Texas Volleyball Invitational at Pearland Junior High East on Thursday.
Melody Horton had a team-high 17 kills and two aces. Mariah Pardo served up 45 assists.
Clear Creek 2, Alamo Heights 1
PEARLAND – The Clear Creek Wildcats opened their pool play at the Texas Volleyball Invitational on Thursday with a three-game win over Alamo Heights by the scores of 25-18, 23-25, 25-14.
Melissa McNeil led Clear Creek in kills with 16, followed closely by Melody Horton with 13.
Mariah Pardo led the team in assists and digs with 35 and 13, respectively.
Friendswood 2, Houston John Paul II 0
PEARLAND – New Friendswood head coach Kylie Kerlin notched her first win at the helm of the Lady Mustangs as the team topped John Paul II, 25-20, 25-22, on Thursday at the Texas Volleyball Invitational.
Friendswood 2, SA Brandeis 1
PEARLAND – The Lady Mustangs notched another win in their second match of the opening day of the Texas Volleyball Invitational on Thursday, finishing off San Antonio Brandeis 25-20, 22-25, 25-19.
Coppell 2, Friendswood 1
PEARLAND – Looking to clinch the bracket title, Friendswood won its first game 25-23 over Coppell, but the Lady Mustangs saw their opponents storm back 18-25 and 8-25 to take the match Thursday.
Friendswood faces Plano West in its opening game of Day 2 of the tournament at 8 a.m. today at the Pearland Recreational Center.
Clear Springs 2, Tomball Memorial 0
MANVEL – The Clear Springs Chargers opened the Texas Volleyball Invitational on Thursday at Manvel High School in impressive fashion, sweeping Tomball Memorial, 25-17, 25-16.
Clear Springs 2, Ursuline Academy of Dallas 0
MANVEL – Clear Springs set the stage for a final showdown for the pool championship, taking care of Ursuline Academy of Dallas, 25-21, 25-19, in the second game at the Texas Volleyball Invitational on Thursday.
Richardson Pearce 2, Clear Springs 1
MANVEL – Clear Springs battled Richardson Pearce for a spot in the top bracket on Thursday at the Texas Volleyball Invitation, but were defeated by the scores of 29-27, 18-25, 16-25.
The Chargers will next face San Antonio Johnson on Day 2 of the tournament at 8 a.m. today at the Pearland High School Searcy Center.
Bellaire Episcopal 2, Texas City 0
ALVIN – The Lady Stings ended a tough first day at the Texas Volleyball Invitational on Thursday with an 18-25, 21-25 defeat to Bellaire Episcopal.
Texas City faces Clear Lake in its first game in Day 2 of the tournament, which will be 2 p.m. today at Pearland Dawson High School.
SA O’Connor 2, Texas City 0
ALVIN – Texas City did not have much offense to offer against San Antonio O’Connor in its second match of the day on Thursday, losing 8-25, 9-25.
Flower Mound 2, Texas City 0
ALVIN – The Texas City Lady Stings fell in its first match at Alvin High School on Thursday as they were swept by Flower Mound, 13-25, 12-25.
PEARLAND – The Santa Fe Lady Indians lost their first two matches before rebounding to capture the final match of the day Thursday. Santa Fe fell to preseason No. 1 and defending 6A state champions The Woodlands, 25-13, 25-16, in the first match of the day.
El Paso Coronado topped the Lady Indians in the second match, 25-18, 25-19. Santa Fe ended the day on a high note with a 25-11, 33-31 win over Porter.
The Lady Indians play a 2 p.m. match today against Tomball Concordia Lutheran at Pearland Dawson High School.