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Home News-Telegram Sports Lady Cats show heart even in defeat

Lady Cats show heart even in defeat

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It was an ordinary match on a Tuesday evening that might turnout to be an outing to build a program around.

Sulphur Springs found themselves down 2-0 at home to visiting Marshall in District 13-4A volleyball action. After losing the first game 28-30, then falling 18-25 the Lady Cats were a game away for being ousted.

Then something happened — the Sulphur Springs girls reached deep and showed their character.
Like a runaway truck heading downhill, the Lady Cats won the third game 25-23, then took the fourth game 25-17 forcing a fifth and decided game.
In the final game, Sulphur Springs made some miscues allowing the visitors a chance at the win and Marshall took it winning 15-9. But the Lady Mavs left town knowing they had been in a fight against some spunky Lady Cats.
“We lost, but I have no complaints about how we played,” said Sulphur Springs first year volleyball coach Brandi Small. “Heart, character, desire - we have all those qualities and we showed them. I am very proud of the effort the girls had. We showed ourselves what we can do. In the fifth game we got a little tight and put too much pressure on ourselves. But we learned for it. I think we are getting a good understanding of what to expect from each other. It’s coming together for us.”
The Lady Cats were led by T’Kea Johnson with 13 kills while Kara Tomlinson added 12. Alex McGahee had 12 assists and Maurie Lewis added eight. Grace Cable had four service aces, Emily Mason added three.
The show of determination by the home team begin in Game 3 as the Lady Cats began the game knowing they had a long way to go.
The teams traded points with the score tied at 5-all. Then rally began for Sulphur Springs, riding the strong and steady serving of Victoria Calhoun they ran off five straight points to go ahead 10-5. Key plays in the rally included a crafty McGahee dink and blocks at the net. The Lady Cats took advantage of error and mishits by Marshall to go up 14-6.
Marshall got into a consistent serving stretch picking up four points and pull closer at 14-10. But Sulphur Springs came rampaging back, this time it was the combination of sinking service shots by  Mason and thunderous kills at the net by  Tomlinson. Tomlinson had three kills in five points.
Marshall had to call a time out to catch their breath and lick their wounds down 19-11 following a 7-1 scoring run by the Lady Cats.
The Lady Mavs responded with an 8-3 scoring surge of their on to get a little momentum as they cut the Sulphur Springs lead to 22-19. Serves by Calhoun and McGahee allowed the Lady Cats finish strong and take the 25-23 win. The victory bolted the Sulphur Springs off the deck and cut the game lead of Marshall to 2-1 as action shifted to the fourth game.
In Game 4 the visiting Lady Mavs found out pretty quickly that the Lady Cats meant business as they took a 9-1 lead. Jalie Eppars had eight consecutive service points before being halted. Marshall found their stroke and rallied to reduce the  Sulphur Springs lead to 9-8. Hannah McCampbell had several key serves coupled by dominating net play by T’Kea Johnson. The Lady Cats zoomed ahead 15-8 lead.
Kills at the net by Marshall’s Raspberry were quickly answered by kills from Johnson and Tomlinson coming off good assists by McGahee and Lewis. The fourth game went to Sulphur Springs 25-17 forcing a fifth contest.
The fifth game was dominated by Marshall early with Rokaric Ellie serving for five points as the visiting Lady Mavs went up 6-3. Sulphur Springs could not get going and fell behind 12-5 after a series of points at the net and good serves by the Lady Mavs. Mason got a short rally going with two service points as Marshall was unable to hit the ball cleanly and Sulphur Springs cut the lead to 12-8.
Johnetta Raspberry served  for two big points, her teammate Janika Stephens slammed home a winner as Marshall took the final game 15-9 and the match.
In the early going, the Marshall controlled the action taking a 7-2 lead in Game 1. The Lady Cats responded with points from Johnson and serves by Cable, including an ace to make it a 9-8 game.
The game was tied 10 times down the stretch as neither one of the teams could pull away. Marshall finally rallied with points off  Stephens serves to win 30-28 in a hard fought battle.
Game 2 started out strongly for Marshall as they took a 7-2 early lead. Cable’s low spinning serves got a rally going for Sulphur Springs. Johnson had two kills and soon the five point outburst had bolyed the home team to be within a point at 7-6.
Hard serves by Raspberry, including an ace buoyed the Lady Mavs to a burst as they went up 19-11. The Lady Cats could not close the gap and lost 25-18.
In the end it was Marshall taking the win 3-2 in games to secure the district match. But the Lady Cats were better off the effort.
“We build off every game, win or lose,” Small said. “We want to win, but we can still learn from this.We played well and if we keep making improvements we will be all right.”
In sub-varsity action the Sulphur Springs JV won 25-14, 25-11 and the freshmen rolled to wins, 25-16, 25-15.
The Lady Cats next home game is  Friday against Texas High on parent/teacher night.
The freshmen and varsity play at 4:30 p.m. in both gyms with the other games to follow.



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