Texas High nips Lady Cats
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Sept. 25, 2004 - An electric atmosphere inside the Sulphur Springs gymnasium turned quiet Friday afternoon when a Lady Cat effort to overcome an 0-2 deficit to Texas High fell just short.

Texas High held off an energetic comeback attempt by the Lady Cats in five games, 27-25, 25-22, 24-26, 19-25, 15-13.

Sulphur Springs mounted a resilient effort in the final game to rebound from a four-point deficit at 9-13, starting with a cross-court spike by Christina Patchen, consecutive kills by Stephanie Kethley and Kristen McDonald, and a service ace by Patchen to tie the contest at 13-13.

But, Texas High got a spike from Miracle Thurston to break the run and a match-point block by Briauna Birl to close out the game.

Sulphur Springs drops to 10-10 overall, 1-1 in District 12-4A play, tying them with Texas High, Greenville and Mount Pleasant.

The Lady Cats started slow in the first two games, leading to narrow losses. Texas High went up 6-1 in the first game and 5-1 in the second. Though the Lady Cats came back to lead briefly in game one, the comeback from such as large deficit was too much to sustain.

Sulphur Springs actually had a game-point serve in the first game after Tara Gibby, who recorded a team-high 16 kills, registered a hard spike to put SSHS up, 25-24, but Texas High broke serve, got an ace and a kill by Mieko McHenry to wrap up the contest.

In game two, the Lady Cats pulled even at 19-19 behind three straight service points by senior Betsy Blount and a nice block by McDonald. But, they got no advantage from their home court. They had two disputed calls go against them in the pivotal game. With the score 15-18, Gibby sent a hard spike across the net that appeared to be tipped by Texas High, but it was ruled out on the Lady Cats. Then, with the score 19-29, McDonald put down a hard spike, but was ruled to have reached across the net, the only such call of the five-game match.

The Lady Cats fell behind in the third game, 1-4, but battled back to tie the game at 22 and take the lead on a Kethley spike.

They rode that momentum to a game four win in which Hailey Watson had six straight service points and Tanna Lampp put down a pair of kills. Gibby was at her best, knocking down six kills.

Sulphur Springs couldn't get past Texas High in game five, though, despite a back-row kill from Casey Carper and three spikes by Patchen.

Along with Gibby's 16 kills, Kethley had 10, McDonald seven, and Patchen and Watson five each. Watson also had a team-high in assists (21) and points (13), while Blount had 17 assists and 12 points. Carper and Patchen had 13 points each.

NeNe Hynson recorded four kills before leaving to be crowned homecoming queen at the football game, while Kayla Morgan added three kills and a block, and Marlee Peugh contributed seven points.

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