BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
The Stephenville Honeybee volleyball team kept its fans on the edge of their seats all the way to the end with a stunning 25-23, 24-26, 15-25, 25-18, 15-12 five-set Bi-District championship victory over Krum in Aledo Tuesday night.
It’s a special victory for head coach Shay Douglas who won a state title as a player at Stephenville and is in her first year coaching her alma mater.
What was it like to get that first playoff win under her belt?
“It’s very emotional. I am so grateful to be here, and I love being a Honeybee. I believe in goals and sticking to them,” Douglas said. I’m so happy with the way the girls kept their composure. Douglas said. “They believed in the process!”
It was easy to tell early on Krum was going to give Stephenville everything it could handle as the Honeybees escaped with a 25 – 23 win in the first set.
Krum then returned the favor with a 26 – 24 win and when they posted a 25 – 15 win in the third set the Honeybees were in a do-or-die situation.
Stephenville forced a tiebreaker when it dominated the force that 25 – 18 and looked like it had the momentum going into the final set.
Krum jumped out to a 5-1 lead and pushed that to 10-5 before Douglas called a timeout and reminded her squad about how they got into the bi-district round.
“ I told then we need to believe that we are better passers than they are servers, we are better blockers than they are attackers,” Douglas said “So trust the process and go get after it. Be a competitor and go fight and show we are the better team!”
The Bees did just that rallying to tie the score at 11-11 and then pounding out the victory 15-12 which led to a massive celebration for Douglas and her team.
“We are now going to focus on Graham, and I think we can take care of business there too,” Douglas said. “Now that we have the first playoff game jitters out of the way hopefully we will calm down quicker. We have some confidence we can go and do it!”
Senior hitter Chloe Goodman was a force at the net with a team-high 21 kills while freshman Landri Withers popped 10 and sophomore Alee McClendon had nine.
Gabie Lucero dominated on defense with a match-high 33 digs and she got plenty of backup from Jayci Morton’s 21 and 17 from Emily Strobel.
McClendon led Stephenville’s blockers with five and Jaydi Griffin recorded three.
Setters Hannah Huckabee and Karlee Easterling provided lots of opportunities for kills with 34 and 20 assists respectively.
Stephenville now focuses its attention on taking on the Graham Lady Steers in a match at Jacksboro High School at 7 PM on Thursday.