In battle of state’s best, No. 3 Iola sweeps up No. 5 Milano
All three games were very close with several lead changes throughout the match.
“It was a very good match for us. We had a hard time getting in front of the ball and blocking them. We were not used to that fast of speed in the game,” Lady Eagles head coach Wendy King said, referring to the quickness in which Iola would pass the ball to make the kill. “We played good defense, we just need to improve at the net.”
The difference was Iola’s height advantage with two players—5-8 junior Amanda Gooch and 5-10 senior Shelby Williamson. They combined for 28 kills on the night.
“We were just outsized,” King said.
There was some talented youth on the court for both squads as Iola started two freshmen in their lineup and Milano (8-2) had three.
Myka Morehead led Milano’s charge with 11 kills and 16 digs on the night, along with two blocks and one assist. Camille Messer added 10 kills, two blocks and two digs.
Halle McManess put up 10 digs, two kills, one ace and one assist, with Keely LaGrone adding two kills and one block. Libero Kelly Wadlington pulled out 11 digs.
Cashlyne Blake set up 13 assists and four digs and Naomi Graham added nine assists, two digs and one kills.
Senior outside hitter Elizabeth Holt didn’t play on Tuesday due to a knee injury.
POLLS—Reigning state champion Jewett Leon is ranked atop the standings this week, with Class A powerhouse Round Top- Carmine sitting at No.2. The Lady Bulldogs are No. 3 in front of No. 4 Windthorst (another multiple-time state champion) and Milano at No. 5.
The rest of the top 10 are Dodd City, Lindsay, Wink, Water Valley and Cayuga (who knocked the Lady Eagles out of the post-season last year).
FRIDAY FEAT—It took four games from Milano to take down Jarrell on the road Friday night. The Lady Eagles won the first two sets 25-15, 25-19 before falling in the third 20-25.
Milano closed it out with a 25-8 fourth set decision.
Morehead led the Lady Eagles with 18 kills and two digs on the night.
McManess added eight kills and six digs and LaGrone five kills. Wadlington pulled up 16 digs.
Blake put up 19 assists and two digs, with Naomi Graham adding 11 assists, four digs and two aces.
Messer tallied three kills and Holt added one kill and one dig.
BUSY WEEKEND—The Lady Eagles will play in the always tough Waco Robison tournament on Thursday and Saturday.
In between tourney days, Milano will hit the road to play Normangee on Friday.
The team will then host Rosebud Lott on Sept. 3.