By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (August 11, 2015) — Burleson spoiled the fun when Stephenville opened its 2015 volleyball season at Gandy Gym Tuesday evening, topping the Honeybees in a back-and-forth five-set match, 25-12, 11-25, 25-23, 11-25, 15-12.
Finally healthy, 6-2 senior middle blocker Kourtney Seaton amassed 20 kills to go with five blocks and five digs.
Seaton, who has committed to Division I Northwestern State (La.), scored eight points in the second set alone, including three straight kills to ensure the Bees won the set easily to even the match after a lackluster opening game in which they allowed five aces.
“I don’t know what the first game was. We just didn’t show up. We had a lot of miscommunication on defense,” said veteran Stephenville head coach Fran Metzger. “We should have won that one, but we just hit the panic button and let our nerves get the best of us.”
Burleson jumped back on top in the third set, exploding for an 18-8 run to overcome seven straight Stephenville points that included four consecutive kills by senior outside hitter Mikayla Hobbs.
The Bees were dominant again in the fourth,using an 8-2 run to pull away after already being on top 11-7. Hobbs had two kills and an ace during that strong surge.
Stehenville scored three in a row on two Burleson errors and a penalty for a 9-8 lead in the fifth, but then surrendered five straight points, the last two on hitting errors, to give Burleson control of the match.
The Honeybees still showed signs of life with kills by Hobbs and Nicona Stilwell and two Burleson errors, but Burleson head coach D’Anna Dingler, a former Tarleton State basketball player, called timeout and her team sealed the win with the following point.
Stephenville is right back in action Thursday when tournament play commences in Saginaw. The event continues through Saturday, and the Bees return home next Tuesday to face an Abilene Cooper squad they handled in scrimmage play last week.
TheFlashToday.com photos by BRAD KEITH