Lindale wins in four games, SSHS coach not happy with team effort

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Oct. 3, 2007 - The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats wrapped up the first half of District 11-4A play on a tough note Tuesday night at Wildcat Gym with a four-game loss to the Lindale Lady Eagles.

Lindale won by scores of 25-18, 25-14, 18-25 and 25-10 as SSHS is now 12-19 overall and 0-5 in district play.

"Tonight's game was probably the worst that I have ever seen them play," said SSHS head coach Rachel Curtis. "It was because they had quit and I have never seen them play that way. We are coached to win and we are coached to go out there every single minute and give our best, and we didn't do that tonight."

The Lady Cats opened up the match strong and jumped out to a 7-3 lead behind the serving of Kamesha Hall and the play of juniors Krista McMahan, Baleigh Butler and Mackenzie Cross. Cross led the team in kills with eight to go with one block and one assist, Butler had three kills and one block and McMahan had two kills and three aces.

In Game 1, the Lady Eagles took advantage of their size as Whitney Binder had four kills in the game as she finished off the first game with back-to-back kills for the 25-18 finale.

Game 2 was another tough start for Sulphur Springs as Lindale jumped out to a 10-6 lead. The Lady Cats bounced back to close to within a 16-12 deficit on a kill by Cross, but Lindale outscored SSHS 9-2 the remainder of the game.

After a talk by Curtis between the second and third games, the Lady Cats came out in Game 3 with their best effort of the night. SSHS got out to an 8-3 lead on a kill by Butler and never trailed as they had a 6-0 run during that game.

SSHS took an 18-11 lead on a double block by Butler and Katie Dodd on an attempted kill by Binder that forced Lindale to call a timeout. Following the timeout, the Lady Cats had kills by Cross and Kelsey Smith and a block by Cross on an attempted kill by Neally Rhea to seal the win.

"Game 3 usually seems to be our strong point," Curtis said. "I was hoping that we could come out and start over, but we didn't. Before the game they were ready, and I have never seen them more ready to play.

"They had come off a great game Friday night against North Lamar and they were ready and prepared, but they fell apart. As a coach there is not much that you can do at that point. They know what they are doing wrong and they just fell apart."

In Game 4, the Lady Cats lost the momentum early as Lindale took a 4-0 lead. SSHS battled back to within 9-6 on a kill by Cross off an assist from Maurie Lewis - who finished with 16 assists in the match.

Lindale then took advantage of the Lady Cats miscues during the game and held a 23-9 lead late on an ace by Binder. After a kill by SSHS junior Brittani Crawford, Lindale wrapped up the game as McMahan hit a serve into the net and Lacey Klein won the game with a spike.

"I left them with a choice in there and I said, 'Right now, we are 0-5 and you have a choice to go out there and decide how you want to finish the year,' and now it is up to them," Curtis said. "I think they will come out strong on Tuesday night and play the way that we can, then I think we will be all right."

SSHS travels to Texarkana on Tuesday looking to avenge a four-game loss in the district opener. The JV and freshmen are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

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