HARKER HEIGHTS — Over the last two weeks of District 8-5A play the Ellison Lady Eagles found themselves grounded, and dropped some all important district games. But on Friday, Ellison soared over Harker Heights.
Junior middle blocker Bri’anna Gray had 14 kills while Asia Howard and Miranda Tapia combined for 30 assists to help Ellison (17-12, 5-4) sweep Heights (12-18, 2-7) 25-18, 25-18, 25-22.
“We went on a losing streak and this is what we needed to pick up the pace,” Gray said.
The win breaks a four-game district losing streak for the Lady Eagles. Ellison won its first four district games then dropped their next four.
The win gives Ellison a three-game lead over Heights for fourth place in the district. The Lady Eagles remain one game ahead of the Killeen Lady Roos for the fourth and final playoff spot out of the district.
Kathleen Janda and Chante Mitchell led the Lady Knights with six kills apiece while Roxi Sonni came up with 19 digs and Brianna Gelsinger added 12 assists.
“It all comes down to the same thing, we’ve got to win matches,” Heights coach Chris Wiley said. “If we win matches, we can take care of it and let the chips fall where they may.”
Confidence was a big key for the Lady Eagles down the stretch in Games 2 and 3.
An attacking error got the Lady Knights within two points of the Lady Eagles at 19-17, but Ellison closed out the second game on a 6-1 run.
“Frustration did not take over and that’s what I want from my girls,” Ellison coach William De Gracia said. “We’re a good team, we just had to minimize our mistakes and don’t let the frustration get us.”
Heights senior middle blocker and right side hitter Karli Rodriguez came up with a block that cut Ellison’s lead to 19-18, but the Lady Eagles quickly countered.
A Kaeleana Hattix-Covington spike from the left side followed by a pair of Amanda Glover aces put Ellison ahead 23-18.
The Lady Eagles withstood a late Lady Knights surge to close out the three-point win in Game 3.
Ellison completed a district sweep over their Killeen ISD rivals. On Sept. 17 the Lady Eagles won at home 25-16, 25-20, 25-15.
The Lady Eagles look to keep the momentum going on Tuesday when they host Shoemaker while Heights will try to rebound at district-leading Copperas Cove.