LTVB gets tough tests from Salado, Lorena

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By Tony Adams, Sports Editor

The old adage is that “revenge is a dish served best cold.”

There was no time for the dish to even get past room temperature as the Belton Lady Tigers, who were nipped in three sets during the Gatesville Invitational Tournament by Salado, got another crack at the Lady Eagles during a regular-season affair Friday night at Tiger Gym.

The Lady Tigers volleyball team defeated Salado in straight sets, 32-30, 25-22 and 25-14.

It is safe to say that Belton was pretty salty Friday, considering they had about 28 hours to chew on the Thursday loss.

“Revenge,” said Belton senior outside hitter Abbey Morgan. “We were so fired up to play tonight. We wanted revenge for what happened on Thursday.”

On Thursday in the Gatesville Invitational Tournament, Belton fell two sets to one, after taking a 1-0 lead.

The team was focused on Friday, bound and determined to not let a repeat of Thursday’s event happen again.

“We were so motivated to play Salado tonight after that loss on Thursday,” said Brey York. “Tonight, we didn’t let up at all.”

Morgan had a huge night on defense and took control of the game on the floor.

“Abbey Morgan was diving all over the place for balls and played great,” said Allison Waits. “Brey’s sets were perfect.”

Salado had the serve in the first set and were on the verge of closing out the set, leading 24-23. Jamie Janczak’s kill saved the set and helped prolong the game. It also got the Lady Tigers’ faithful on their feet.

“I had gotten a great set from Brey York and our team needed that one point right there and it was perfect timing,” Janczak said.

Janczak’s clutch kill impressed her Belton head coach Stacy Meyers.

“That was one big hit,” Meyers said. “Jamie did a great job there making that big swing.”

Up 31-30, Waits took a set from York and made the game-winning kill. It’s a scene that has been a common occurrence during the early part of the season between York and Waits, with the combination playing as smoothly as a seasoned double-play combination in baseball.

“When you win Game 1 by the score of 32-30, you get a huge boost,” Meyers said. “I’ve been on both sides, plenty of times, in games like that. That was a tough game for Salado to lose. Salado is certainly a very good team but it’s so difficult to come back from that type of loss. Still, Salado fought us hard after that.”

Throughout the night, the Lady Eagles received plenty of big kills from Cheyenne Vaca, Tori Dekay and Malory Schattle

“Tonight was a learning experience for us,” said Salado head coach Heather Shannon. “We now know what we must do if we should lose a Game 1 which goes so long. After that 32-30 loss, we weren’t as competitive in Game 2 and Game 3 got away from us rather early. But we will most definitely learn from this and bounce back from it.”

Meyers believes that her young team has a lot to learn, but the bounce-back win against Salado was a lesson learned.

“We’re still a young team that’s looking to improve,” Meyers said. “We’re still in the building process. But I do think a match like this can help us build some momentum going forward.

Belton swept by No. 7 Lorena

“Missed it by that much!” – Don Adams, Get Smart

No truer words could have been spoken about the Belton Lady Tigers on Tuesday night as the 10-6 squad took on the undefeated Lorena Lady Leopards (16-0) at Tiger Gym.

Belton fought hard throughout the match and got great efforts from Abbey Morgan (15 digs, seven kills), Brey York (22 assists, four kills) and Anna Becker (15 digs), but fell to Lorena in straight sets by the minimum two-point margin in each set. The scores were 27-25, 25-23 and 25-23.

The hard-luck loss drops the Lady Tigers to 10-7 going into Thursday’s Robinson Lady Rockets Tournament. They are scheduled to play pool games at 2 p.m (Whitney), 4 p.m. (Spring Hill) and 6 p.m. (Waco Reicher).

Belton jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first set, with Jamie Janczak serving and Morgan picking up two kills. The Lady Tigers led by as many as seven points (13-6) before Lorena mounted a comeback to take a 17-16 lead.

With the score tied 19-19, Lorena went on a 5-2 run to come a point from closing out the set 24-21. Becker served the next four points and gave the Lady Tigers an opportunity to close out the first set with a 25-24 lead. The Lady Leopards scored the next three points and took the first set.

Lorena jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the second set. Janczak, Elicia Jackson, Allison Waits and Chloe Bush had attacks in a 13-8 stretch to tie the set 13-13. Belton went on another run, this time of the 7-2 variety and had a 20-15 advantage. Lorena scored 10 of the next 13 points and took the second set by a pair of points.

The teams split the first 16 points of the third set before Belton pulled out to a five-point lead, 14-9. The Lady Leopards chipped away at the lead and tied the score 20-20, then went on a 4-1 run to put themselves on the brink of the match. The Lady Tigers made the next two points, but a frontline block caromed out of bounds, giving Lorena the set and the match.

“I thought we played really well overall,” Belton head coach Stacy Meyers said. “There were a couple of the girls that played really well tonight and had their best game of the year. Abbey played really well, I thought Anna played really well with Audrey (Linder) hurt and stepped up and played well.”

Meyers felt the difference in the match was a pair of plays in the second and third sets.

“There were back-to-back bad plays in the second and third sets that were the difference,” Meyers said. “If we would not have made those stupid mistakes in those sets, it wouldn’t have gave Lorena the momentum. The games would have been totally different.”