The world may be made for right-handed people, but on Friday it was a southpaw that ruled the gym and dealt the Ellison Lady Eagles (16-11, 4-3 District 8-5A) a district setback.
Despite 14 assists and six digs from Asia Howard, Belton’s Brieanne Brown had 10 kills and helped the Lady Tigers (20-10, 5-2) sweep the Lady Eagles 25-14, 25-14, 25-15 at Ellison High School.
“We don’t have any lefties to practice against so it’s really hard to read a lefty, especially with no blocks,” Ellison junior libero Amanda Glover said about Brown. “She swipes a different way so it’s hard to pick up her hits all the time.”
Belton took over sole possession of third place in the district, one game ahead of Ellison.
The Lady Eagles committed a total of 27 attacking or serving errors on the night and didn’t lead after the 10-9 mark of Game 1.
Howard also had six digs and a pair of aces while Brianna Gray had a team-high six kills and Kira Grenier led Ellison with eight digs.
“We should have beat Belton, the adrenaline was there and our hustle was there,” said junior outside hitter Alysia Espada. “We just lose after our mistakes.”
Brown was a force in front of the net all night accumulating seven digs and blocking two shots. Brey York was Belton’s leading helper with six assists to go along with six kills while McKinzee Robinson blocked six shots.
“We just executed very well tonight,” Belton coach Stacy Meyers said.
“We were closing our block, we were pressing well and we were executing like we should be doing.”
Brown gave the Belton offense an edge early on as the Lady Eagle defense had trouble adjusting to the left-handed outside hitter.
Brown had four kills in the opening frame as Belton went on a 12-3 run to take control and clinch the game on a pair of Ellison attacking errors.
In Game 2, Belton got defensive as a couple of Monica Gonzalez blocks helped the Lady Tigers build an 8-2 advantage.
The Lady Eagles got some momentum late in Game 3 with a Miranda Tapia ace and block by Kaeleana Hattix-Covington, but Belton clinched the match with Brown’s final kill and another Ellison attacking error.
“Even though we were off, our motivation was there and we kept on fighting,” Ellison coach William De Gracia said.