Lady Eagles fall to Thrall, await playoff possibilites
“I would first like to acknowledge all that came out to support us Saturday,” said Milano Coach Wendy King, “ What a crowd. I know a lot of them were from reunions but we really appreciated all the support. It was a very tough, emotional loss for the girls.
“The seniors were well aware that it could be their last home game and I know they wanted to win. I really thought both teams were ready.”
The ma rat hon match saw Milano (31-10, 10-2) take game one 25-13, then fall in game two 25-21.
“We came out and just played almost perfect in game one. They, on the other hand, were slow to start. They missed some serves and didn’t pass the ball real well in game one,” King said.
“After that, both teams were battling for every point. I thought we let game two slip away. We had an 8-1 lead and they came back and we missed three serves that game.”
Milano then took game three 25-21, before the Tigerettes (11- 0 in district) were able to take advantage of Lady Eagle mistakes to take game four 25-19.
Thrall used that momentum to take an early lead in the final set and finally pulling away for the 15-8 win.
Senior Masey Turnage led the Lady Eagles with 17 kills, five digs and two aces, followed by fellow senior Taryn Love with 11 kills, two digs and three aces. Sophomore Stonie Guthrie tallied nine kills and on aces, with junior Desiree Adrian hitting eight kills and pulling out six digs.
Senior setters Stephanie Philpott and Allison Dodd were key net players for Milano. Philpott tallied 19 assists, two kills, four digs and one ace. Dodd recorded 16 assists three kills and eight digs. Sophomore libero Kiersten Bastow pulled out 12 digs.
“I was very proud of the girls. We competed very hard. I don’t know that we could have done much more. Of course there are always things you look back at and wish you could change but in volleyball that is just a waste of time. Mistakes occur and that’s a fact,” King said.
“Our biggest issue was not being able to handle their big girl in the middle.” She is referring to Thrall middle hitter Makayla Barrett. The 6-0 junior had 21 kills in Saturday’s match
“When someone is hitting the ball that hard, you have to stop it at the net. Obviously, with our size, we just can’t do that. No one is to blame for that. We just didn’t match up with her,” King said.
Tigerette head coach George Jasik said that the game could have gone either way, but thought his team had a small advantage.
“We run a tremendous amount of sprints and conditioning. I do believe that played a part in that fifth game. Maybe helped us be half a step faster from beginning,” Jasik said. “That last game could have got either way. Maybe we had a little bit of luck on our side.”
Thrall will have a bye in the first round as district champions. Milano will be the league’s second place representative, while Holland finished third.
“Best of luck to Milano in the playoffs, but I don’t want to see them again,” Jasik said. “We’ve beat them twice already and looking at them a third time we would be pushing our luck.”
The Lady Eagles will either face Snook or Fayetteville in bi-district action early next week. The two teams are tied for the third place spot in District 26-A.
The Milano-Fayetteville/Snook winner will play either D’Hanis or Sabinal in the area round. D’Hanis and Sabinal are battling it out for the District 28-A championship.
Milano is also looking at possibly playing a warm-up game sometime this weekend, but as of Reporter press time, King said nothing had been set.
This is the 10th consecutive year for Milano to reach the postseason, not missing the playoffs since 2000.
For the last two seasons, Milano was knocked out of the playoffs in the regional quarterfinals round by Cayuga.
The Lady Eagles’ best showing was in 2005 at the end of a fouryear run at the state tournament where they finished as silver medalist to Class A powerhouse Windthorst and a 40-5 record.