LDVB sweeps Ellison for 3rd-place; open playoffs against Duncanville
By TJ MAXWELL
BELTON – The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs are finding their groove at the right time.
After suffering a sweep at the hands of the Ellison Lady Eagles in their first encounter, the Lady Dawgs squeaked out a five-set win over Ellison to force a tiebreaker to determine the third and fourth playoff seeds where the Lady Dawgs made quick work of the Eagles in a three-set sweep to take that third spot and set up a first-round matchup with 11-6A runners up Duncanville tonight at 7:30 at Whitney High School.
Neither team exerted control in the early goings of their tiebreaker between the Lady Dawgs and Lady Eagles at the neutral sight of Belton High School on Monday.
Kills by Ellison junior Adelia Puni and Cove senior Jasmine Davis and junior Kyra Gaston made it a 10-10 tie early in the first set.
A block by Cove senior Larissa Melendez helped the Lady Dawgs on a 11-4 run that gave Cove a 21-14 lead. A kill by Gaston and a flip to the open court by Melendez contributed to the run.
Ellison senior setter Alexis Barcinas returned the favor with a push to the open court and junior Kira Bass had a flat-footed kill to bring the Lady Eagles within four, 22-18, but a push shot by Gaston and consecutive blocks by junior Jiya Edwards closed the set for Cove 25-18.
It was back-and-forth again to start the second set with four ties in the first 14 points until a 9-2 run for the Lady Dawgs opened a 16-10 lead. Kills by Davis, Edwards and Melendez; along with another block by Edwards; fueled the Cove run.
A kill by Bass and an ace by senior Daja’Niese Martin helped the Lady Eagles pull within one, 17-16.
After a Melendez kill for Cove, the Lady Eagles responded with kills by Bass and Barcinas for the Ellison lead, 19-18.
Kills by Cove’s Gaston, Davis and Edwards along with kills by Ellison’s Bass knotted the set at 22-all before a block by junior Adaizah Millett gave Ellison the one-point advantage at 23-22.
A kill by Cove senior Hope Chapman helped close the set 25-23 for a 2-0 Cove lead in the match.
The Lady Dawgs jumped out to a 5-1 lead behind another kill by Chapman before a hitting error gave Ellison a pair of points for a 6-3 Cove lead.
The Lady Dawgs then went on a 5-2 run to open an 11-4 lead with kills by Chapman and Melendez.
A push shot and a kill by Puni helped the Lady Eagles pull within five, 13-8, before the Lady Dawgs again began to slowly pull away with kills by junior Jamesia Moody, Chapman and Melendez; along with another Edwards block; for a 21-11 Cove lead.
A kill by Ellison senior Saniyah Hammonds held off the inevitable, but an ace by Cove sophomore Jakhi Smith helped the Lady Dawgs close out the set 25-15 and match 3-0.
Melendez led the Lady Dawgs in kills with 10 followed by Davis (8), Gaston (6) and Chapman (6).
Senior Emily Vanderpoel and Smith combined for 35 assists with Vanderpoel leading with 19.
Edwards led the front-line defense with seven blocks followed by Gaston (5) and Moody (4) while junior Emma Wasiak led the back-row defense with 30 digs followed by senior Jae Rogers (15 and Chapman (9).
Harker Heights faced off with 11-6A fourth-place Waxahachie yesterday at 4:00 pm. at Whitney High School and the Lady Eagles faced off with 11-6A champs Mansfield following the Heights/Waxahachie contest (results of both contest unknown at press time Thursday).
District 12-6A runner up Bryan will open tonight’s double-header at Whitney High School against 11-6A third-place Mansfield Lake Ridge and Copperas Cove will take on Duncanville in the nightcap.