By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
Oct. 29, 2020
Stephenville is headed to the area-round of the Class-4A volleyball playoffs after sweeping Mineral Wells out the door 25-7, 25-5, 25-20 at Gandy Gym Tuesday.
The bi-district champion Honeybees (25-4) now advance to the playoffs’ area-round to take on Springtown (20-4), a 25-10, 25-11, 25-10 winner over Western Hills.
The Honeybees seized control of the match early with a multi-pronged frontal assault that was a mixture of power, speed and great ball placement by setters Kennedy Coffee and Bailey Kammerer feeding Landri Withers, Alee McLendon, Jaylee Matthews, Jaydi Griffin and Emma Giddings.
With Coach Shay Douglas expecting the Lady Rams offense to be off-pace, she kept a big front for two sets and countered the vertical leap of Mineral Wells’ hitter Brooklyn Ellis with McClendon and Griffin often providing the blocks that paced the Bees
While the Bees were in firm control over the first two sets, Mineral Wells settled down and began playing together and mounted a definite attack of their own. With the Lady Rams winless in district play last year, Coach Erin Rincon’s charges looked like they had a bit of the jitters, and it didn’t help they were facing the state’s No. 16 team.
“I thought we might have got a little lackadaisical there in the third set because we were probably expecting them to make some of the mistakes they did in the first two sets,” Douglas said.
Instead, the Lady Rams determinably dug in and hung within four points for most of the final set, and Stephenville countered with some great defense play and digs from Cali Carter and Reese Weyers in the backcourt.
“We have to finish!” Douglas said, clapping her hands and stomping her feet simultaneously as she encouraged the Bees after their last timeout of the match.
“The last set with them playing us a little closer was probably good for us because it teaches us we can’t let up, and we have to continue to stay consistent,” Douglas said.
Freshman defensive specialist Leddy Rae Guinn got to see her first varsity action of the season during a brief stint. Guinn was moved up during the final game of district play, and Douglas has moved up six total players from the JV and freshmen ranks.
Stephenville will travel to Aledo High School Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. match against the Lady Porcupines.