|Home-Less: Lady Cats hit the road on Friday after MP make it a winless homestand|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Sept. 27, 2006 - Maybe the road will be kinder to the Lady Cats than their home court.
Sulphur Springs was no match for Mount Pleasant on Tuesday, losing the third and final match of its three-game homestand to open District 11-4A.
Mount Pleasant, led by hard-hitting Jasmine King, won 25-11, 25-12, 25-19, to improve to 1-2 in district, 19-9 overall. Sulphur Springs dropped all three of its home matches to fall to 0-3, 8-17.
The Lady Cats will now go on the road for the next five consecutive matches, starting Friday in North Lamar.
Tuesday was the second consecutive time the Lady Cats were swept by a district opponent. King was the reason.
If the high-flying, 6-1 middle blocker wasn't blasting spikes or putting up a blocking wall, she was unleashing a fantastic jump serve. The Lady Cats had to try to account for her at all times as she recorded 13 kills, four blocks and four aces.
In the first two games, Sulphur Springs was able to make runs only when King rotated around to the back row.
"Mount Pleasant has a good team," said SSHS head coach Christi Funk. "They're very solid, and they have a big gun who showed up tonight. She did a great job."
Conversely, the Lady Cats were not very solid in the first two games. MP took a 22-3 lead in the first game before the lady Cats were able to win five points in a row behind the serving of senior Jordan Anderson, who led the team with five points and four assists.
In the second game, Mount Pleasant took a 20-5 lead before the Lady Cats mounted any type of attack. SSHS senior middle blocker Kayla Morgan had a pair of kills and three service points and junior Marci Womack added a pair of blocks and a kill to put the Lady Cats in double figures for the game. Overall, Morgan finished with five kills and two blocks, while Womack had three kills and two blocks.
It wasn't until the third game that the Lady Cats showed some life.
"We didn't show up to play the first game, didn't show up to play the first serve, didn't show up to play until the third game and that's too late," Funk said. "They missed some serves, and that helped to get us going. We started being a lot stronger at the net with our blocking, and that put us more on the aggressive side.
"If we could have played like that the first game, it would have been a whole different match."
In the final game, the Lady Cats got out to a 7-5 lead, their first lead of the match, as Kelsey Evans had three service points. Mount Pleasant came back to go on an 11-4 run to take a 16-9 advantage behind the serving of Brandi Rodgers and Brianne Giddens.
However, a kill by Womack stopped the run and the Lady Cats pulled to within 20-18 as Kristen McDonald, Morgan and Baleigh Butler all recorded kills.
Mount Pleasant, though, stopped the run on a kill by Katera Wilson and won the match on three straight serves by Giddens.
The Lady Cats find themselves at the bottom of the district standings, and Coach Funk had a message for the girls after the loss.
"We're talking about playing to our potential instead of just playing," she said. "We're going to pick up the intensity in practice for sure."
No matter whether they are at home or on the road, the Lady Cats need to play better, she added.
"We have too many things that we're focusing on as a team, and we're going to keep that focus and take it no matter where we're at," she said. "Whether we're here or somewhere else, there are too many things we're working on internally for it to matter where we're at."
The SSHS JV were beaten 9-25, 18-25, by Mount Pleasant.
Four girls had one kill each: Lauren Buck, Kelsey Smith, Shelbi Elkin and Krista McMahan, who led the team with two digs. Katie Dodd had one block and one point, and Buck had two points and a block. Maurie Lewis led the team in service points (three) and assists (one).
The freshmen Lady Cats emerged as winners, beating Mount Pleasant 29-25, 25-19, 25-23.