By BRAD KEITH
GRANBURY (August 21, 2015) — No one really knows how many volleyball matches Fran Metzger has won as a head coach.
The number is actually significantly more than 600.
Metzger celebrated what is officially being dubbed her 600th coaching win with her Stephenville Honeybees Friday at the James Waan Sports Complex. They defeated Fort Worth Paschall 25-23, 20-25, 25-20 in a pool match as part of the Granbury Classic Chevrolet Tournament.
“It’s nice, it’s been a lot of fun years,” said Metzger. “It seems like the 600th one is hard to get.”
Class 4A Stephenville has seen nothing but 5A and 6A opponents since a loss following her 598th win last week in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Varsity Invitational. The Honeybees lost to Abilene Cooper at home Tuesday and to Copperas Cove to open pool play in the Granbury tournament Thursday. They defeated Burleson Centennial for win No. 599, then fell to Cooper again, also on Thursday.
The losses to Copperas Cove and Cooper came in back-and-forth three-set (tournament matches are best of three, not best of five) thrillers, while the victory over Centennial came in two sets.
Friday morning brought about another tough loss as Euless Trinity edged the Bees 25-23, 19-25, 25-20.
Stephenville (9-8) finally got over the hump Friday afternoon, and even then it wasn’t easy. The Bees marked the occasion with a brief, impromptu ceremony featuring a “600” banner and “600” cards for each player and coach.
“We’ve played a lot of good matches that we haven’t won but they’ve been close,” said Metzger of the countdown to 600. “This was a good win because it was a hard win.”
She believes putting the milestone behind them will help her team.
“I think so. It’s done now,” Metzger said. “I thought that hurt us (Thursday). It was making us nervous.”
Nerves weren’t a problem when the Bees returned to the court to sweep Big Spring, 25-16, 25-15, also Friday afternoon.
But it wasn’t just 600 for Metzger, and it’s not just 601 now.
It’s just the 601 wins Metzger has on record. She says she does not count her head coaching wins at De Leon because she does not have records from that time. She has 481 wins at Stephenville after winning 119 at Granbury.
The best part, Metzger says, is enjoying it while her team is playing well. They are just 3-4 over their last seven matches, including 3-3 over two days of pool play in Granbury, but are now 8-7 this season against 5A and 6A competition.
“I’m excited how we’ve been hanging tough with 5A and 6A teams,” she said. “I’m proud of the girls.”
Mikayla Hobbs tallied 13 kills and seven digs in the milestone win over Paschall, while Kourtney Seaton had 11 kills and four blocks and Kaleigh Conger also totaled 11 kills. Chelsea Gillespie had 16 assists and eight digs while Taylor Garber contributed 13 assists and Kylee Ponder 15 digs. Emily Brandon stepped up with five blocks.
Gillespie had 12 assists and five digs while Ponder racked up 14 digs to lead the way against Big Spring. Hobbs had seven kills, Kerstin Fredrickson five and Seaton four.
Conger doubled up with 10 kills and 11 digs against Trinity, while Seaton posted 10 kills and six blocks, Hobbs killed seven balls and Fredrickson six. Gillespie had 12 assists and five digs, Garber 13 assists and Ponder 12 digs with two aces.
Bracket phase of the tournament is Saturday, but as of 6 p.m. Friday, Stephenville does not know when it will begin play. Stick with TheFlashToday.com and follow @TheFlashSports on Twitter for updates as soon as they are available.
TheFlashToday.com photos by JESSIE HORTON