The Texas City Lady Stings began their regular season Tuesday with an emphatic statement, logging a 25-15, 25-8, 25-23 win over an Alvin Lady Jackets team that had bested them in the previous three regular season openers.
“Our goal tonight was to make a statement, and I think we definitely did that tonight with a sweep,” said Texas City head coach Glenn Kennedy, making his debut heading up the Lady Stings.
Texas City had to dig deepest in the third set, as the Lady Stings faced a 23-21 Alvin advantage late in the frame. A kill from Ashlynn Lewis began a 4-0 rally to close out the match. After two Alvin errors, Bella Waggoner ended a long final point with a kill to complete the sweep for the Lady Stings.
“A big thing they struggled with last year was shutting down and not being able to finish games in adversity,” Kennedy said. “They didn’t shut down, and they finished the ball game, and that’s something that wouldn’t have happened last year.
“Also, in that third set, we tried to run some plays and try new things to get them out of their comfort zone, and that’s something they didn’t even hesitate trying,” Kennedy said. “That’s something I’m really, really proud of.”
The Lady Stings trailed by as much as 16-13 in the third set, but a thunderous Lewis kill kept the frame from getting out of hand. A Waggoner kill gave Texas City a 11-7 lead in the third set, but Alvin responded with a 9-2 run, which was added by a string of four consecutive Texas City errors.
The opening set began with the two teams hanging close, but, leading 10-8, the Lady Stings put together a 10-2 run to build an insurmountable lead. The run ended with three consecutive kills from Haley James and an Alvin error.
Led by three kills and a block from Lewis, two kills apiece from James and Aja Sherwood, and an ace from Zoe Johnston, the Lady Stings raced out to an 11-3 lead in the second set and never looked back in the most one-sided of the three frames.
“Offensively, it’s not just one girl we’re relying on — we can go pin to pin with multiple hitters that can put the ball down,” Kennedy said.
Leading Texas City’s balanced attack were Lewis with nine kills, James with eight kills and Waggoner with six kills. Jayla Medina-Diaz had four aces and 11 assists, and Macee Medina led the defense with 18 digs. Johnston added 13 digs and 13 assists, and James chipped in 12 digs.
Up next, the Lady Stings will enter the state’s largest high school volleyball tournament, the Adidas John Turner Classic hosted by Pearland, on Thursday through Saturday.
“After tonight, they definitely realize the potential that we have,” Kennedy said. “We’re going to get to see the best of the best (at the tournament), and that’s going to be really good to see how we respond to that.”
Other Galveston County high school volleyball scores Tuesday, available as of press time, were:
• Santa Fe 3, Barbers Hill 0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-14)
• Friendswood 3, Clear Lake 0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-21)
• Katy Seven Lakes 3, Clear Creek 0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-16)
• Baytown Sterling 3, Dickinson 0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20)
For more information, see the Tuesday, Aug. 6, volleyball roundup at galvnews.com.