By Tony Adams
The Belton Lady Tigers came out like gangbusters in the first set, but struggled to find their game for a time against the Killeen Lady Roos.
They found it in time to avoid further play.
Monica Gonzalez had four kills in the fourth set, including the match-clincher, as Belton beat Killeen 25-10, 19-25, 25-21 and 28-26.
The first set started quietly for both teams when Belton went out to a 9-4 lead. Brieanne Brown served nine straight points to give the Lady Tigers an 18-4 advantage. The Lady Roos tried to get back into the game, but Brown’s kills were too much for Killeen in the first set.
The Lady Tigers started showing signs of struggle early in the second set, as they trailed early 4-1. They chased the Lady Roos down, caught them and took a 13-12 lead. Belton took a three-point lead at 17-14 before Killeen served five straight points to lead 19-17. The Lady Roos closed the set with a 6-2 run to win out by six.
In the third set, the teams battled the first eight points to a 4-4 draw. Belton pulled out to an 8-4 lead on four service points from Kinsey Williams, including two aces from the Lady Tigers’ libero. Killeen blitzed back with four points of their own to tie the match at 8-8. The teams seesawed back and forth to a 17-17 tie. Belton went on an 8-4 run, with a kill from Allison Waits and a combined block from Waits and Gonzalez, to give the Lady Tigers the decision in the third set.
The four set started with Killeen taking a 2-1 lead. Abby Morgan served up eight consecutive points to slingshot the Lady Tigers into a 10-2 lead. Belton extended the lead to 15-5 on a Brey York block, two service points and an ace. Killeen worked their way back into the set with a 17-7 run to tie the match at 22-22. The Lady Roos pushed Belton to the brink, leading 25-24 and 26-25. McKinzee Robinson tied the set at 26-26 with a kill. Gonzalez and Waits teamed for another block to give Belton a 27-26 lead. With Robinson serving, Killeen and Belton volleyed back and forth before Gonzalez’ match-point kill gave the Lady Tigers the victory to go 4-2 in district and 18-10 overall.
Gonzalez consistency has made her one of Belton coach Stacy Meyers’ go-to players, especially since District 8-5A play commenced two weeks ago.
“Monica has been the most consistent player since district play started,” said Meyers. “Blocking and hitting, she has very consistent. She had an error late in the match, but made up for it. The first thing she told me was that she should have gone the other way with the shot. She more than made up for it.”
Gonzalez had 10 kills, seven blocks and one dig in the match for Belton. Brown had 14 kills, six aces and 10 digs. Williams had 16 digs, two aces and a kill. Machaela Moore had six assists and two kills. Bailey Borger had 15 assists, two kills and two digs.
The Lady Tigers’ junior varsity and freshman teams also emerged successful from Roos Gym. Coach Jordan Petter’s JV team won in straight sets 25-13 and 25-21. Coach Dorothy Payne’s Freshman team had no trouble with the Roos in straight sets 25-10 and 25-9.
The Lady Tigers will take on the Killeen Ellison Lady Eagles on Friday at Ellison High School. Varsity will start at 5:00 p.m.
Belton beats Harker Heights
Ke’Una Gates, Sports Reporter
It was a close game for the Belton Lady Tigers volleyball team and their opponents from Harker Heights Friday night, but Belton took home the win in straight sets.
Lady Tigers won the first set, winning 25-16.
Belton won set two, with a score of 25-16. During the final round.
Harker Heights tried desperately to make a comeback in the game. They took lead for awhile after the teams had over nine ties, but the Lady Tigers tightened their game up and blocked their opponent’s plans. Machaela Moore and Bailey Borger contributed to the victory with numerous assists. Williams put in work to tally 10 digs throughout the match.