|Yantis, North Hopkins pull off playoff sweep|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Nov. 1, 2006 - PATTONVILLE - The North Hopkins Lady Panthers and the Yantis Lady Owls both advanced to the area round of the Class A playoffs Tuesday with a Hopkins County sweep at Prairiland.
Yantis - winners of six of their last seven games - beat James Bowie in four sets, 25-21, 23-25, 25-10, 25-23, and will face Cayuga in the second round of the playoffs at 6 p.m. Saturday in Canton.
"The girls played the game with heart tonight," said Yantis coach Dana Gilliland.
North Hopkins advanced with a 25-12, 25-20, 25-14 win over Detroit and will face Overton possibly in Gilmer at 6 p.m. Thursday.
"We've got a tough game with Overton, and they are definitely going to test us, and we are going to have to cut down on the errors," said NHHS coach Danna Lewis.
In the opening game of the doubleheader, Yantis battled through five ties before reaching a 19-10 lead on the serving of junior Jamie Gilliland and Baylee Gilbreath. The duo combined for six points and one kill during that run.
James Bowie was able to get to within, 20-19, on three consecutive aces by Stephanie Riddell but was not able to take the lead in Game 1.
In Game 2, the lead never reached more than eight points as Yantis held an 18-10 advantage on the strong serving of Isabel Reyna - who had five aces during an eight-point run - and finished with 11 service points, eight aces and six kills.
James Bowie won Game 2 after being tied at 23-23 as Kourtney Birdsong received an assist from Riddell for the 24-23 lead and then put the game away on a Yantis miscue.
In Game 3, Yantis fell behind 7-4 as Danielle Bailey had three kills and Magan Parker had an ace to lead the way for the Lady Pirates.
Yantis senior Jayna Bevill brought the Lady Owls back with six straight points, including an ace, for a 10-7 lead as Gilliland had one kill during that run. Gilliland ended with 11 service points, five aces, seven kills and one assist.
The Lady Owls had serving runs by Holly Madden and Amanda McKinney as Madden had six points and McKinney had four points in Game 3.
In Game 4, James Bowie jumped out to a 7-0 lead behind the serving of Heidi Leinberger and the play of Birdsong with three kills and one block. Birdsong finished with 12 kills and one block for the Lady Pirates.
Yantis bounced back to tie the game at 19-19 off a kill from Bevill from a Madden assist and then outscored James Bowie 6-4 to seal the victory.
The Lady Owls broke a 23-23 tie as Bevill served out the game and Baylee Gilbreath had the final kill. Bevill finished with 10 points, two aces and four kills for the Lady Owls.
In the night-cap of the doubleheader, the North Hopkins Lady Panthers took control of Game 1 behind the serving of Chastin Smiddy - as she had nine service points and five aces - to give them an 11-2 lead. Smiddy finished with 16 service points and eight aces in the match.
In Game 2, Lewis said the team started to make errors, something they need to correct this week.
"Definitely in set two, the girls were falling asleep and we just had to cut down on the errors," Lewis said. "We need to cut down on the errors, and you know in volleyball it is a game of momentum."
In Game 2, NH started out strong as Sabra Thomas served the Lady Panthers to a 9-0 lead as Detroit battled back to get to within 22-16 on a kill by Hailey Slenk.
In Game 3, North Hopkins continued their strong play, jumping out to a 9-1 lead as Thomas and Ebbonye Johnson connected on four points during the run. Smiddy also had seven service points.
The Lady Panthers wrapped up the match as Holli Argenbright had a kill on game point for the 25-14 finale. Argenbright had four kills and one ace.
Thomas had a double-double with 14 points, 10 assists, one ace and two kills, Johnson finished with 15 kills, one assist, six points and three aces, and Hannah Martel had four kills and one assist.