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Southlake Carroll eliminates Coronado volleyball with big fourth-set run

November 7, 2012
Carroll Athletic Booster Club



Lady Mustangs become first team to take set from Lady Dragons, but can't sustain momentum

Posted: November 6, 2012 - 8:42pm  |  Updated: November 7, 2012 - 12:25am
 
 

 

VERNON — The Lady Mustangs had no reason to hang their heads Tuesday.

True, the Coronado volleyball team dropped a four-set match to Southlake Carroll in the Class 5A Region I quarterfinals (25-14, 22-25, 25-15, 25-21), but the Lady Mustangs nearly took the No. 2 Class 5A team in the state to the brink of elimination.

“It would have been real easy after the third set to just say, ‘Well, I guess it’s not our year, and we’re going home.’ They never quit,” said Coronado coach Chad Jones. “They never quit fighting, even when (Carroll) was up game point, we kept going at them and kept attacking them.”

After the teams split the first two sets, the Lady Dragons (47-3) made the pivotal third set look too easy and entered the fourth with all of the momentum.

However, the Lady Mustangs came out fired up and jumped out to a 10-3 lead thanks to five kills by Kalani Giddens and good movement in the front row.

Coronado (37-6) went up 16-11 before Carroll took back the momentum and the match.

Taylor Gruenewald, teamed with Courtney Ensch and Maiya Burns, blocked three straight Lady Mustang attacks to put the Coronado on edge. Two Lady Mustang errors evened the game, and the Lady Dragons finished their 13-2 run on a bad Coronado return.

“I think that changed the flow of the match,” said Carroll coach Arthur Stanfield, who has more than 900 career wins. “Kalani was just whipping balls, and we blocked her once or twice, and that as an effect on any hitter. I think after we blocked a few balls, we got fired up and they were maybe a little more tentative.”

Carroll ended it five points later on a Ensch kill to send the Lady Dragons into the regional semifinals.

“We battled and kept fighting with them, but just couldn’t get the momentum back in our favor,” Jones said.

Giddens said the Lady Mustangs had too many unforced errors on the evening, and they couldn’t regroup in the final set.

The senior outside hitter, who is being recruited by a handful of West Texas colleges, led all players with 19 kills, one of the only Coronado players who had success in a third-set thrashing.

“Of course I’m upset, and I wished it would have ended a little better, but I’m really proud of my team,” Giddens said. “I think we did a really good job, and, of course, we could have played better, but we still left it on the floor. I felt like it was a good game.”

Coronado ends its season with the No. 5 ranking in the state and matched its furthest playoff run under Jones.

The Lady Mustangs, who went undefeated in District 2-5A play — not losing single set on the way — became the first team to take a set from the Lady Dragons this postseason.

Before Coronado’s 25-22 second-set win, Carroll’s closest game was a 25-17 win against Tascosa.

Coronado had 14 errors in a quick, 25-14 loss to Carroll in the opening set, and the Lady Mustangs looked like they would become another quick victim of the powerful Lady Dragons.

However, the tables turned in the second set as Coronado jumped out to an 11-6 lead, then ran out to a 19-11 advantage before a late Lady Dragon run.

Coronado had five double-hit, setting errors in the opening game, but chopped those down and found offensive rhythm behind Giddens, Emily Ritchie and Suzzy and Lizzy Dimba.

Suzzy Dimba had 11 kills on the day, and sister Suzzy had nine. Ritchie chipped in five, and setters Haidyn Scott and Sydney Webster fed their big hitters with a combined 42 assists.

“We tried to take advantage of some mismatches,” Jones said. “We tried to attack some of their players that we knew who we could score some points on. We did it in the second and fourth set, we just didn’t do it in the first and third.”

Carroll will play Colleyville Heritage, which beat Flower Mound on Monday in five sets, at 6 p.m. Friday in Glen Rose. Christen Sikora and Katie Martin led Carroll with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.

Giddens also led the team with 16 digs, one of six Lady Mustangs with double-digit digs. Sydney Webster had 15, Jenni Pfeiffer sent back 11 and Bailee Johnson and Taylor Ford each had 10. Scott chipped in 14 and also had the match’s only service ace.

“I’m just extremely proud of them,” Jones said. “And I hope the pain goes away from them quickly and they can look back and remember all the great things they accomplished this year.

 

To comment on this story:

thomas.magelssen@lubbockonline.com

• 766-8723

george.watson@lubbockonline.com

• 766-2166

 

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