By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
Call them young, call them inexperienced.
But one thing you can call the Belton Lady Tigers is victorious on Monday night.
After winning the first set and falling in the second and third sets, Belton never trailed in the final two sets to win their season opener over Stony Point at Tiger Gym. The scores were 25-19, 22-25, 17-25, 25-20 and 15-8.
The win starts the Lady Tigers’ season at 1-0, with Temple coming into town on Tuesday.
Belton started the first game with a 7-3 lead. Stony Point tied the game at 7-7 before Belton jumped out to a 15-11 lead. Stony Point evened up the score at 17-17. Not to be outdone, the Lady Tigers closed out the first set with an 8-2 to take the first set.
The teams see-sawed through the second set before a late 6-3 push by Stony Point evened the match at one set apiece.
Stony Point broke away from the Lady Tigers in the third game after the teams were tied at 14-14. An 11-3 run gave Stony Point the third set and a 2-1 lead in sets.
Behind the serves of Abbey Morgan, Breanna Farrell, Allison Waits, Audrey Linder and Anna Becker, the Lady Tigers never trailed in the fourth set, leading by as many as eight points. Waits and Brey York made critical kills during the set to even the match at two sets apiece.
In the fifth and final game, Morgan served four consecutive points to give the Lady Tigers a 5-2 lead. Belton extended the lead to 8-3, forcing Stony Point to take a timeout. Following an Elecia Jackson block and a Waits’ kill, Stony Point was forced to call another timeout.
Waits’ 16th kill of the match set up Farrell’s ace to clinch the fifth set by seven points.
Waits had four blocks to go with her 16 kills. York had 10 kills and 22 assists, while Jamie Janczak added five blocks.
“We started off strong in the beginning,” Belton head coach Stacy Meyers said. “We were able to make them make mistakes, which gave our girls momentum. They took advantage of that, which is a positive. Then we made some mistakes and Stony Point got momentum. They can hit, which helped them win the third. Once we settled down, we made them earn their points.”
The fight in the Lady Tigers was evident in the fourth and fifth sets, which shows the message that the coaching staff had been preaching throughout camp.
“They played with heart tonight, showing that mental toughness that we have been preaching to them,” Meyers said. “They need to be a little more consistent on it, but it is there and it showed.”
Waits dominant again as Lady Tigers sweep Temple
Allison Waits followed up her 16-kill, 4-block match against Stony Point on Monday night with a 10-kill, 4-block match against the Temple TemCats in a straight set sweep Tuesday night at Tiger Gym.
The scores of the match were 25-10, 25-15 and 25-11.
The Lady Tigers moved their record to 2-0 on the young season, Belton jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set with Waits’ first kill and an attack from Chloe Bush. Sisters Imani and Timmea Joiner Hargrove kept the TemCats in the first set, working the score back to a one-point deficit at 5-4.
Anna Becker served four consecutive points and helped the Lady Tigers round out the set on a 20-6 run.
Temple’s lone lead of the night came on the first point of the second set, as Timmea Joiner-Hargrove’s kill gave the TemCats a 1-0 advantage. Service by Audrey Linder and Breanna Farrell helped give the Lady Tigers a 6-2 lead.
The TemCats worked their way back into the set, tying the score a 8-8 and then 10-10. Waits, Brey York and Abbey Morgan registered kills in a 15-5, Lady Tiger run to close out the set.
Following a York assist to start the third set, Morgan served three points in a row, as the Lady Tiger proceeded to pull away. With the score 11-4, Temple attempted a last-gasp effort to get back into the match, picking up four consecutive points.
Rather than Belton head coach Stacy Meyers opt to call a time out to stop the TemCat rally, she decided to let the team work through the tough stretch. Did they ever.
The Lady Tigers put a barrage of points on the TemCats, rallying for a 14-3 streak to end the match with a sweep.
York had 14 assist, five kills and four blocks, while Morgan chipped in nine digs, eight kills and three blocks.
“We didn’t let Temple get on big runs, as we cut it to short runs tonight, which we are getting better at,” Meyers said. “We were consistent in areas. Our defense is moving their feet better.”
Belton will travel to Round Rock to participate in the Westwood Showcase. The first pool day, which is Thursday, will include a 12 p.m. game against Allen, a 3 p.m. game against Del Valle and a 4 p.m. match against TMI Episcopal. The Friday pool will depend on how the Lady Tigers finish on the first day.