Miller Grove overcomes adversity to beat Lady Owls
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Sept. 20, 2006 - YANTIS - The Miller Grove Lady Hornets dealt with a yellow card by using strong performances from Adrian Estrada and Natalie Bailey in a five-game win against the Yantis Lady Owls in the district opener Tuesday.

Miller Grove won by scores of 17-25, 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12 to improve to 10-8 overall and 1-0 in District 18-A, while Yantis dropped to 12-9 , 0-1.

"They kept their heads in the game, but the refs hurt us a lot and that changed the momentum," said MGHS coach Melissa Kethley. "They worked hard and didn't give up tonight."

In Game 5, Miller Grove held a 6-2 lead on a kill by Bailey, and then Miller Grove asked for time out but miscommunication led to Kethley receiving a yellow card.

"Both teams were walking off the floor because our girl called a timeout and it was after the referee blew the whistle for the serve. Our girl had given the line judge the ball and I got on the floor and yelled at him," said Kethley.

"The ref told me after the game that if I would have contested the call, I could have told him that the line judge told her to give him the ball and since it was after the five seconds whistle it could have been a replay."

Miller Grove had just nine service points in the first game, five of them from Bailey, as Yantis broke open a 9-9 tie by scoring eight of the next 11 points to go up, 17-12.

In Game 2, Miller Grove had to battle from behind the entire game and tied the game at 15-15 on a kill by Bailey off of an Estrada assist. Bailey had eight of the team's 11 kills in Game 2.

Yantis was able to tie the game one final time as Amanda McKinney blocked an attempted kill by Bailey for a 17-17 tie. The Lady Hornets then outscored Yantis 8-5 to take the 25-22 win.

In Game 3, Miller Grove took a 14-7 lead behind four points from Becca George. In the opening 14 points, she had three points, two aces and one kill. George finished with six kills and four aces for the Lady Hornets.

Yantis rallied back behind Gilbreath, Jamie Gilliland and Christina Tauzin to get to within, 16-13, as Gilbreath had three points and one ace during that stretch. Gilbreath finished with a team-high nine kills, one assist and one ace.

In Game 4, there were eight ties in the game as Yantis' McKinney gave the Lady Owls a 22-20 lead with three consecutive aces. The Lady Hornets then scored three of the next five points to get the score to within 24-23 on a kill by Estrada, but Isa Reyna tied the match at 24-24 with a kill off of a Gilliland assist. Reyna had 11 aces, five kills and one assists for the Lady Owls.

In the final game, Miller Grove pulled away from a 10-10 deadlock on an ace from George and a kill by Bailey on game-point for the 15-12 win.

Bailey led the way for the Lady Hornets with 24 kills, four aces and one block, while Estrada had 33 assists, one ace and one kill.

Kethley said Bailey and Estrada were huge in the Lady Hornets district opening win.

"She (Bailey) is one of our best hitters and when she is on the front row we are going to try and set her as much as we can," the coach said. "We just recently switched to a 5-1 instead of a 6-2 where we had two setters and now we have one setter so we have to execute plays to be successful in district."

The Lady Hornets had 15 missed serves in the match, and Kethley said that stat has to change for the remainder of the year.

"They need to get their serves in and they need to hustle more," the coach said. "Friday is not a district game for us but they still need to do those things."

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