By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (September 4, 2015) — After grinding its way through tough matches against 5A and 6A competition for much of the season, Stephenville ground fellow 4A member Gatesville into the Gandy Gym court Friday afternoon.
Senior outside hitter Kaleigh Conger knocked down 11 kills and three in a 25-16, 25-13, 25-20 sweep of Gatesville, the second home win this week after the Honeybees beat 5A power Granbury in four sets on Tuesday.
Kourtney Seaton tallied six kills and three blocks, Mikayla Hobbs landed four kills and Kerstin Fredrickson added four as Stephenville posted a .350 hitting percentage. Six players combined for nine aces, including two by Hobbs. Taylor Garber had 16 assists and Chelsea Gillespie 11. Kylee Ponder made 13 digs.
Gatesville reached the second round of the 4A playoffs last season and has a tradition of success in the sport.
But the Lady Hornets loooked nothing like the opposition Stephenville faced while going 10-14 against 5A and 6A schools, mostly in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Varsity Invitational, the Granbury Classic Chevrolet Tournament and last week’s Volleypalooza tourney in Leander.
“You can tell it helps tremendously to have seen such a high level of competition. Now when you play teams your own size everything seems to slow down for you,” said Stephenville head coach and 600 match winner Fran Metzger. “I feel really good about the way we’re playing, we just have to keep improving before the start of district.”
The Honeybees overcame six missed serves while cruising through first set, then aced five serves and exploded for an 11-1 run to dominate the second. The third was more competitive, with Gatesville using a 7-1 surge to even the score at 14 before the Honeybees scored two straight and led the rest of the way.
Stephenville visits 4A West on Tuesday.