Yantis lives up to ranking with sweep of NH

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Sept. 26, 2007 - YANTIS - The No. 9-ranked Yantis Lady Owls survived a scare in Game 1 against the North Hopkins Lady Panthers to sweep three game Tuesday night.

The Lady Owls won by scores of 25-23, 25-9, 25-11 to improve to 20-1 on the year and 3-0 in District 18-A.

"This is an extremely talented group of girls. This is a group that listens to each other, to me and they play as a team," Yantis coach Dana Gilliland said. "I am expecting to see us play hard and give 100 percent against Fruitvale. I expect to see a lot of heart, determination and intensity."

In Game 1, the Lady Owls came out slow as NH (0-2) took a 5-1 lead behind the serving of Chastin Smiddy and kills by Kadee Melton and Julie Tamsma. Tamsma and Smiddy each had three kills in the match for the Lady Panthers.

Yantis battled back and tied the game at 8-8 midway through the first game as Christina Tauzen and Jamie Gilliland had kills during a 7-3 run. Gilliland led the team with 11 service points, nine aces, six kills and two assists.

Melton gave the Lady Panthers a 19-17 lead with three consecutive aces as Yantis called a timeout before Isy Reyna, Gilliland and Holly Madden closed out the first game for the Lady Owls with a kill by Madden. Reyna had 15 service points, eight aces, two kills and one assist in the match.

"I am getting used to seeing the girls doing that in Game 1," Coach Gilliland said. "They have done that in the last three or four games in a row and they look like they are trying to warm up. I am very proud of the girls for the way that they played tonight."

In Game 2, the intensity came back for the Lady Owls as they jumped out to an 11-2 lead on nine service points by Baylee Gilbreath with kills by Gilliland and Tauzen during that run. Amanda McKinney also had two blocks during that stretch and finished with five kills and one assist.

Liz Shaw pulled the Lady Panthers to within five points, 11-6, with three aces before Gilliland slammed home a kill off an assist from McKinney. The Lady Owls then went on a 14-3 run the remainder of Game 2.

After getting seven kills in Game 1, the Lady Panthers managed to get only three kills the remainder of the match. In Game 3, the Lady Panthers only had only had one kill coming from Melton for a 5-3 deficit.

The Lady Owls had a strong service match throughout, especially in Game 3 when they had 15 of their 25 aces in the match. Gilliland led the way with six aces, followed by McKinney with four, Reyna and Tauzen with two each and Madden had one.

"I make them during practices serve 60 serves in a row. If they miss it on 58, then they have to start back over at one," Gilliland said. "So they have to serve 60 in a row every day."

Yantis has a 16-game win streak and will travel to Fruitvale on Saturday for its next district match, which is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

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