|Lady Cats drop game to Paris|
|From Staff Reports|
Oct. 10, 2005 - After an undefeated run through the first half of district play, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats were upset by Paris on Friday to begin the second half of the 12-4A schedule.
Paris took a 10-0 lead in the first game and went on to a 25-16, 25-16, 25-17 victory at Wildcat Gym.
The victory not only kept a faint playoff pulse alive for Paris (2-4 in district, 11-17 overall), but it brought Sulphur Springs back to the pack. The Lady Cats (5-1, 20-10) are again tied with Greenville (5-1, 18-10) atop the district standings, while North Lamar (4-2, 17-12) lurks one game back.
After two emotional victories over North Lamar and Greenville the last two playing dates, the Lady Cats couldn't muster the same intensity against Paris, whom they had defeated in five games to open district play three weeks ago.
"I think it was a combination of having two really big, emotional wins against North Lamar and Greenville, and we played with such high emotion last Tuesday against Greenville that it's hard to do that back-to-back-to-back," said SSHS head coach John McCullough.
"I had already warned the girls after the Greenville game that, 'You might as well draw a target on your chest now, because we're the first place team and we're undefeated. Everybody's going to coming to get us now.' I have to give Paris credit - they came out, put the pressure on us from the very first serve and never let up."
Statistics were not available from the game, but McCullough said there were few bright moments for the Lady Cats.
"We didn't play well at all. We didn't pass well, we didn't serve well, he said. "We looked out of sync. The girls, you could tell were not focused.
"About the third game, they were begging for emotion and they were trying to find something, but it was really too late. Paris came out with nothing to lose. They played with great focus and they put it to us."
The Lady Cats have two more games at Wildcat Gym to finish off their five-game homestand before they go on the road for their final two contests against North Lamar and Greenville. Sulphur Springs hosts Texas High (2-4, 16-15) and Mount Pleasant (0-6, 16-14) on Tuesday and Friday.
A combination of two SSHS wins or losses by Texas High and Paris will put the Lady Cats in the playoffs.
"The next two home games are very important. Hopefully, we'll take care of our business at home this week with two wins, and that will clinch a playoff spot for us. If we do that, we can go to North Lamar and Greenville with aspirations of being district champions," McCullough said. "The first thing is to get in the playoffs."
The Lady Cat JV has won their last two games to improve to 25-4 overall, 4-1 in district.
Against Paris on Friday, SSHS won, 25-15, 25-13, behind four kills from Darla Dickson and nine assists from Kelsey Evans.
Elise Rascoe added three kills, while Erica Verner recorded eight assists. Coach Tommy Grammer also singled out Jessica Rowe and Dickson for playing well on offense, and Brittani Dillard and Kamesha Hall for their defensive play.
"Our back row passing is improving each week," he said. "That leads to better sets and more opportunities offensively."
Tuesday against Greenville, the Lady Cats emerged with a 25-17, 17-25, 25-20 victory.
Marci Womack had seven kills and four assists, while Evans added six assists and four aces to spearhead the SSHS attack. Dickson contributed a team-high eight kills, while Verner had seven assists and Rowe added six.
Defensive standouts include Dillard with five digs and Hall with four.