By Tony Adams
From the look on the Belton Lady Tigers’ faces following the first set on Tuesday at Knights Court in Harker Heights, the script was not supposed to have a twist.
Belton head coach Stacy Meyers made it perfectly clear that it was time to get serious. They did just that.
Following the Lady Tigers dropping the first set, Belton dropped the hammer on the Lady Knights, winning the match, 23-25, 25-14, 25-14 and 25-18. The win, in concert with Copperas Cove defeating Killeen and Waco Midway downing Killeen Ellison, clinched Belton a playoff spot at 8-4 in District 8-5A with two games to play.
Ellison is one game in back of Belton with games with Cove and the Lady Tigers (Tuesday night) remaining. Killeen is two games in back of Ellison with a trip to Belton remaining, which becomes a must win for the Roos Friday night.
Belton took five-point leads of 8-3 and 12-7 to start the match. Heights unsheathed a barrage of points on the Lady Tigers, which involved a combination of sharp Lady Knights’ plays and uncharacteristic Belton errors. Heights took the first set, stunning the crowd on the Belton side of the court.
“I told them we have a goal and we had to win tonight to achieve it,” said Meyers. “I asked them if they wanted to make the playoffs. Tonight, for the most part, seals it for us. I told them they cannot play like this and they need to take this more serious.”
The Lady Tigers regrouped and never trailed in the second set. Great plays by Monica Gonzalez, Alison Waits, Brieanne Brown, McKinzee Robinson, Machaela Moore, Bailey Borger, Kinsey Williams and Danae Allison merged together and gave the Lady Tigers an 11-point victory to even the match at one set each.
Heights jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the third set. The Lady Tigers methodically worked their way back into the set. Behind the serving of Williams, Brown and Moore, and six kills from Robinson during 14-2 run earned Belton a second 11-point victory and a two sets to one lead.
“When she (Robinson) gets that confidence and momentum, she is something special,” said Meyers. “We had two players over 10 kills tonight (Robinson and Brown each had 13) and Allison (Waits) had seven. They had an unbelievable night.
The teams split the first six points before Williams took over serve and led a five-point run. Heights brought the set back to withing three points at 12-9. Brown, Waits, Gonzalez, Abbey Morgan and Brey York started dropping shots into the Lady Knights’ side of the court, as Belton worked the score up to match point and took the final set by seven.
Belton will host Killeen Friday night at Tiger Gym at 5:30 p.m. The Roos have improved since the Tigers saw them a month ago.
“They have continued to improve throughout district,” said Meyers. “They started off with two victories in district. But they gave us a little trouble our first match with them. We have got to keep focus. Killeen can jump us and bite us if we let them. It’s important not to let them have a shot.”
Senior night is Tuesday night, as seniors Danae Allison, Bailey Borger, Brieanne Brown, Kinsey Williams, Brooklyn Borger, Machaela Moore and Monica Gonzalez will be honored.
Lady Dawgs sweep Belton 25-13, 25-17 and 25-11
The Belton Lady Tigers volleyball team battled away at an overpowering Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs volleyball team Friday night, following a tough match last Tuesday against Waco Midway.
Belton kept plugging away at Cove, but Bryaunea Hall and Qiana Canete were too much for the Lady Tigers in the straight set loss.
The Lady Tigers proved they had bite, as they led Cove for part of the first set, a majority of the second set and part of the third set. The second set lead included a 9-2 start by Belton, which fired up Big Red, forcing Cove into an early set timeout.
Brown had 10 digs and two kills. Moore had 10 assists and six digs. Gonzalez had six blocks.