GATESVILLE It may have been an off-day for the Lady Dawg Invitational, but the No. 7 Gatesville Hornets sure didnt treat it as such.
Still in contention for the Gold Division crown when bracket play begins today in Copperas Cove, the experienced Hornets (4-0) continued their torrid start to the season with a 45-minute dispatching of Waco, 25-8, 25-7, 25-15, on Friday at home.
We wanted to get as many games the first week as we could, it didnt matter who it is, we just need some reps right now and hope that it carries over to tomorrow as well, said Gatesville coach Rickey Phillips.
Not breaking serve until the 13th point of Game 1, Gatesville mounted a rapid-fire 12-0 lead on the serving of junior Lauren Nichols, who returned from injury to register three aces in the first few minutes of the match. Along with Nichols serving, the Hornets had a pair of Katilin Poe-to-Glynna Johnson set-kills before an error gave Waco its first point.
It was kind of a practice, senior outside hitter Skye Truss said. We didnt have practice this morning obviously, and were not going to have practice tomorrow, so its kind of our get-going (practice) for tomorrow.
After trading serves at 21-7 on a Waco hitting error, Gatesville closed out Game 1 with a pair of Truss kills and another by Nichols before a service error sealed it in 13 minutes.
When you start a game with lots of energy, it carries over and obviously just trying to keep excitement, that helps a lot, Truss said of the quick games. And we were having fun because we were winning.
Johnson, who committed to Northwestern State two weeks ago, opened Game 2 with an uncontested set-kill from Poe as the senior pair capped a 7-0 start with back-to-back slams. Johnson scored the Hornets next three points on kills and then was pulled after her turn at serving with a 15-5 advantage.
Despite only playing in 1½ games, the 6-foot-3 middle blocker led the way with 10 kills going 10-for-10 on attacks with seven kills in Game 2. Poe added 10 assists before giving way to backup setter Katie Brock, who added three aces and five assists.
Gatesville also saw junior libero Megan Chambers return from a hamstring injury.
No regular starter appeared in the third game, as Phillips began inserting reserves midway through the second game.
Some of those kids down the line may have to step in and make a big play somewhere, and if they havent done it before on the floor, theres a great chance it wont happen automatically later on, Phillips said. I think its a big deal.
After watching the Gatesville reserves build an 18-4 lead in Game 3, Waco fought back, scoring 11 of the next 14 points to cut it to 21-15.
But following a timeout, the Hornets halted the bleeding with a kill by junior Madaleine Lamar and capped the quick match with a stuff-block by sophomore Meghan Haferkamp.
Contact Alex Byington at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7566.