Semira Fields could not wait any longer.
Entering her third season on varsity, Ellison’s senior understands her high school career is closing. Soon, her time with the Lady Eagles will become a thing of the past.
So Fields intends to create some memories before she goes.
“I’ve been decent in the past,” the outside hitter said, “but I decided that since this is my last year, I need to go all in.
“I did not perform my best on Friday, so I really needed to show that I was better and could do better starting tonight, and I think I did.”
Fields produced multiple momentum-swinging kills Tuesday, helping guide Ellison to a 25-18, 25-15, 25-18 victory against visiting Harker Heights.
While Fields was extremely eager to improve on her performance in Friday’s straight-set win against Killeen, she was not alone, and the team’s offensive progression was significant, according to Lady Eagles head coach Sarah Stolley.
“We were much more consistent,” she said. “The hitting was really cleaned up, because we had a lot of hitting errors in the last match, so we’ve focused a lot on that.
“There a lot of situational hitting discussed. We can’t just be swinging away at everything, and they did a good job of picking their spots tonight.”
Despite the Lady Eagles’ added attention, the Lady Knights thwarted a number of attempts early as both teams battled for control in the opening set.
After Ellison (19-8, 2-1 District 12-6A) immediately created a 5-1 cushion, Harker Heights responded, tying the score 8-8 before claiming its first lead at 11-10. The squads traded scoring spurts until the Lady Eagles won six of the set’s final eight points, securing the win on senior Chantelle Cancel’s ace.
Ellison was not threatened again.
The Lady Eagles broke a 4-4 tie in the second set by embarking on a 10-3 outburst, and Ellison jumped out to a 11-3 lead in the third set, preventing the Lady Knights (5-13, 1-2) from getting within striking distance.
“We’re good at making adjustments really fast and picking up the pace,” Fields said. “In the first set, we played at Harker Heights’ pace, but we can play so fast, and after the first set, we played at our pace.”
While the outcome was disappointing for the Lady Knights, Harker Heights’ first-year head coach Alina Wilder was pleased her players did not become disheartened once Ellison began capturing the momentum.
“They fought,” she said, “they hustled, and they did all the things we worked on in practice. I know this is a process, but the girls are really buying into it.
“Even with the loss, I’m really proud of them.”
Now, the Lady Eagles look to increase their win streak to three consecutive matches Friday, when they host Belton.
For Fields, the secret to success will be matching the Lady Tigers’ speed.
“They run a quick offense,” she said. “Their sets are lower, they have good players, and it is hard to recognize who will be hitting, so we definitely have to pick up our intensity in practice to be ready for Friday.”
TUESDAY’S 12-6A SCORES
- Belton def. Temple 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 15-12
- No. 6 Copperas Cove def. Waco 25-7, 25-9, 25-3
- Ellison def. Harker Heights 25-18, 25-15, 25-18
- Shoemaker def. Killeen 25-20, 25-15, 25-23
- BYE: Waco Midway
- Belton at Ellison, 5:30 p.m.
- Harker Heights at No. 6 Copperas Cove, 5:30 p.m.
- Shoemaker at Waco Midway, 5:30 p.m.
- Temple at Waco, 5:30 p.m.
- BYE: Killeen