Lady Cats win doubleheader against Chisum and Rains
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Aug. 24, 2005 - The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats won a pair of matches by taking six of the eight games against the Paris Chisum Lady Mustangs and the Rains Lady Cats during a doubleheader Tuesday night at Wildcat Gym.

This was the first home match for the Lady Cats (5-1), as they defeated Chisum 25-15, 25-17, 25-16 in the first match of the day, then came back and beat Rains 25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-12.

"The girls played awesome the whole night," said SSHS head coach John McCullough. "They played through adversity with girls getting hurt, playing through cramps, and playing out of position."

In the first match against Chisum, junior middle blocker Kayla Morgan stepped up and finished with 10 kills, four aces and two blocks, while classmate Kristen McDonald finished with 10 kills.

"Kristen had a great night hitting. She has really been working on it, and she has been frustrated with it and she stepped up tonight," the coach said. "Kayla came in and did a great job blocking for us tonight."

In Game 3, Chisum got to within one point at 10-9 as Amber Brakehill recorded an ace before Sulphur Springs senior Hailey Watson recorded back-to-back assists to junior Brittany Moore and senior outside hitter Tara Gibby for a 12-9 lead. Watson finished with eight kills and 14 assists against Chisum.

Senior Laura Ream had six aces and 12 assists against Chisum, while Moore finished with three kills, three aces and three assists.

Against Rains, the Lady Cats dealt with two separate injuries as senior Jessica Owens went down during game one with an injured ankle as SSHS lead 8-6 after a kill from Rains' Kaley Hoover.

Later in game three, Gibby went down with cramps after turning her ankle during practice Monday.

"I think part of Tara's cramping up was that she was trying to favor the other leg after turning her ankle on Monday during practice," McCullough said.

Tied at 16-16 in Game 1 against Rains, the Lady Cats scored three straight points as Watson blasted two consecutive kills and Moore recorded an ace for a 19-16 lead.

In Game 3, Sulphur Springs blasted out to a 7-0 lead as Moore recorded three of her nine services aces in the match, along with two kills from McDonald. She finished with nine kills and one assist against Rains.

With the air conditioning out at Wildcat Gym, the players were dealing with high temperatures inside the gym, but McCullough said the players dealt with it the best they could during the evening.

"With it being 80-something degrees in here, the girls played a lot of ball tonight, and I think we will be OK even with a tough test in the Garland tournament this weekend," he said.

Rains pulled out the victory in Game 4 after Sulphur Springs pulled to within one at 23-22 on a kill by Morgan, but Megan Jones countered with a kill off an assist from Jalyn Russell, and then Hoover wrapped up the game with a kill for the 25-22 win.

Game 5 went back-and-forth as the game was tied at 12-12 after Colbie Cross went wide on a serve as the Lady Cats then scored the final three points of the match.

McDonald gave SSHS the lead for good on a kill for the 13-12 lead, Watson recorded an ace, and then Morgan capped off the game with her fifth block of the match for the 15-12 win.

"The big block by Kayla to end the game was icing on the cake," McCullough said. "That was a very exciting game for us with the type of roller-coaster night that is was tonight."

Watson wrapped up the match with 12 kills, 18 assists, three aces and one block, while Ream had three aces, 17 assists and five kills for the Lady Cats.

The Lady Cats will travel to Garland for the Sachse Tournament on Friday and Saturday, and McCullough said the competition will be tough this weekend.

"We need to continue taking a step up each game because we are going to play some great teams this weekend as some of these teams play on club teams eight or nine months out of the year," he said.

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