In a pulse-pounding, heart-stomping thriller, the Harker Heights Lady Knights defeated host Ellison on Tuesday 3-2 (17-25, 25-23, 25-19, 12-25, 15-11).
“It was all about teamwork,” said Heights senior hitter Valicity Saunders, who had six kills and two block-kills. “Our communication was excellent. We kept each other fired up.”
Keeping that fire ignited all night was Lady Knights sophomore middle blocker Haley Brown who had a match-high four block-kills.
“I just did what I’m coached to do with those blocks,” Brown said. “You can see that it does deflate the other team’s hitters when you block it right back at them.”
Brown also beat Ellison (15-11, District 8-6A 1-3) with her powerful serves.
With the score tied 11-11 in Game 5, Brown was at the service line and delivered a flat torpedo that fell for an ace.
“I have to confess,” said Brown, “I was pretty nervous on that serve.”
Up 12-11, Brown delivered another laser and when Ellison returned it, Lady Knight Selicia Field delivered a perfectly placed, soft drop-kill, upping that lead to 13-11.
Then Brown delivered two more maddening missiles from the service line, neither one being returned, and there it was — a 15-11 Game 5 win.
Heights upped its district record to 1-2 and overall mark to 14-14.
“If we can just play like we did tonight all the time, we’re a very tough team to beat,” said Lady Knight senior outside hitter Syann Iosefo, who had a match-high 11 kills.
Also making big contributions for Heights were Valeria Cosme, who was superb on defense and also at the service line, LaNajia Washington, who was excellent setting and also added a clutch Game 5 kill, and Miracle Ellison, who was fantastic on defense.
Also for the Lady Knights, Sorcha Dunn had two kills and two block-kills, Aliyah Lockett had six kills and Sheila Borders had a kill and two block-kills.
For Ellison, Shauntia Landrum had 10 kills, Symone Thomas nine, Kieran Means eight, Elicia Barnes and Breonna Fleming had five apiece and Jakarta Hope had four.
As per usual, Lady Eagle Samantha Robinson was terrific setting, tossing numerous successful shoot-sets.
But this night belonged to the Lady Knights.
You can’t call a September match a “must-have win.” But with district mates Waco Midway and Copperas Cove, realistically speaking, already owning reservations to the postseason dance, you could call Tuesday’s Heights-Ellison clash a “we sure could use this one” type of encounter.
“We came here to Ellison very fired up,” Saunders said. “We never stopped working, never stopped hustling and we did it — we got the win.”