|Momentum betrays Lady Cats in Game 5|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Sept. 20, 2006 - Momentum is a curious thing in volleyball. Tuesday, it was a downright traitor.
The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats seemed to snatch the momentum away from Texas High with a dramatic comeback to win Game 4, but Big Mo swung back to the Lady Tigers at the start of Game 5 and stayed there.
The end result was a five-game victory for Texas High, 20-25, 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 15-6, to open the District 11-4A season.
It looked as though Sulphur Springs (8-15) would come away with a win in front of a vocal home crowd when the Lady Cats scored six straight points at the end of Game 4 to turn a 22-19 deficit into a 25-22 victory.
The comeback started when sophomore Baleigh Butler hammered a spike to end a five-point streak by Texas High. Then following two blocks by senior Kayla Morgan, the Lady Cats finally won a long volley that ended when Texas High's Mieko McHenry hit into the net on a spike attempt. Butler then closed the game with a spike that hit just inside the back line.
But, Texas High (12-10) started Game 5 with five straight service points from Sharee Miller - including a controversial point which the Lady Cats appeared to win when the Lady Tigers hit the ball near the top of the net and it came back on their side. The head referee initially ruled the ball had been hit four times, but later reversed her call and awarded Texas High a point before deciding to replay it.
The 5-0 start was too much for the Lady Cats to overcome as they won just two service points in the final game, both on aces by junior Kelsey Evans, who led the team with 16 points, seven aces and 11 assists.
The Lady Cats started the match well, pulling away from a 13-13 tie to win by five points. A left-handed kill by sophomore Mackenzie Cross off a Jordan Anderson assist broke the tie, and the Lady Cats proceeded to win 8-of-10 points.
They finished off Game 1 with a back-row kill by Brittani Dillard and a tip by senior Darla Dickson.
However, Texas High started attacking the net more forcefully in the second and third games as its top two hitters, Miracle Thurston and McHenry each finished with 16 kills.
In Game 3, the Lady Cats fell behind 8-3, but Evans served eight straight points to give them a lead. The game stayed close, with a final tie at 20-20, but Thurston had two kills in the final five points to close out the win.
Junior Marci Womack led SSHS in kills with eight, while Cross and Butler each had six, and Morgan had three kills to go with eight points and a team-high four blocks. Kristen McDonald recorded three kills and six points, while Dillard added three kills.
Anderson contributed 10 assists and six points.