Eagles, Dogs split matches Tuesday
The Lady Eagles (4-4) finished second in their pool on Thursday, advancing into Saturday's championship bracket, while the Lady Dogs (3-5) finished third in their pool and played in the consolation bracket.
Tuesday night, the Lady Eagles were a little rusty in their first game against Little River-Academy Tuesday night at Geneva Paceley Gym but were able to pull out the four set victory 22-25, 25- 17, 25-15, 25-21.
Senior Sarah Alexander came alive for Milano with 16 kills on the night. Allison Dodd also had a good performance with 11 digs and 17 assists.
Milano's junior varsity won in three games 19-25, 27-25, 25- 23 against Academy, while the Lady Eagle freshmen lost 16-25, 16-25.
Thorndale had a rough go of it against Class 2A Rogers in their home opener Tuesday night with a loss.
The Lady Dogs subvarsit y Maroon and Gold teams also lost to Rogers on Tuesday.
After losing its season opener against Rosebud-Lott last week, the Lady Eagles were ready to get on a winning track. They went the distance but lost to Franklin in their opening game in the tournament then defeated Waco LaVega and Marlin. That was good enough to finish second in their pool and advance to the championship bracket on Saturday.
"We played really well against Franklin which I was glad to see after a sub-par performance Tuesday versus Rosebud Lott," Milano coach Wendy King said. "Our defensive effort was much improved and that's the measure of how good we are playing."
The championship bracket was hard for the Lady Eagles, as they lost two straight to Cameron (2025, 22-25) and Fairfield (16-25, 25-17, 15-25). Cameron went on to win the tourney title.
"We just couldn't sustain any kind of momentum and let the whole match slip through our fingers. I really felt like we let it get away," King said of the Cameron match.
Although no Milano players made the all-tournament team, King said some real leaders are starting to emerge for the Lady Eagles.
Masey Turnage had a great tour- nament and played consistently well throughout.
"She has stepped up this year and so far has been our leader on and off the court," King said. "She works very hard and always has, but there is something different about her on court this year. She is so focused and is leading by example and her play."
The Lady Eagles squeezed in a game between tournament days on Friday, hosting and sweeping Anderson-Shiro 25-21, 25-22, 25- 23. Turnage led the way with 10 kills and nine digs. Sophomore Desiree Adrian was big defensively with 12 digs and four kills.
"Nerves get us at times and anytime you can pull through in a close game I feel like progress is being made," King said.
Milano's freshmen and junior varsity teams also won against Shiro in straight sets.
The Lady Eagles will play in the Leon Tournament on Thursday and Saturday and host a trimatch with Granger and Jarrell on Friday. Milano will go on the road Tuesday, Aug. 25 to face state-ranked Rogers.
The Lady Dogs brought home third place from the consolation bracket at the Cameron tourney.
Thorndale went 1-2 in pool play losing to bigger schools Rogers and Fairfield. They finally got a win over Lexington, finishing third in their pool and sending them to the consolation bracket.
On Saturday the Lady Dogs defeated Little River-Academy (25-12, 25-20), but lost to Marlin (26-24, 23-25, 21-25). In the consolation third place game, Thorndale outlasted Waco LaVega 25-20, 21-25, 25-17.
Lady Dogs head coach Julie Downs said her team is young but resilient.
"Inexperience on the court is a continual plaguing factor, however there is no shortage of hustle amongst the team," Downs said. "These girls are eager to be successful and are willing to do what is necessary to make that happen."
The varsity squad will travel to Shiner for a tournament Thursday and Saturday. Thorndale teams will travel to play Austin Crockett Tuesday, Aug. 25 with games set to start at 5:30 p.m.