Lady Eagles proves to be too much for scrappy Thorndale
MILANO— It was a smal l school all-Milam County showdown at Geneva Paceley Gym on Tuesday night, as the No. 6 Milano Lady Eagles proved too much for the scrappy Thorndale Lady Dogs in three games, 25-12, 25-20, 25-17, in the District 16A volleyball opener.
Milano (18-4, 1-0) took the first game pretty handily, never falling behind from the first point. In the second game, Thorndale made it interesting.
The Lady Dogs (4-12, 0-1)managed long rallies and also took a three point lead midway through the second set off Milano errors.
The Lady Eagles then rallied behind the play of junior hitter Myka Morehead and several Thorndale hitting errors to take the lead back and never give it back up.
Morehead led Milano with 14 kills, nine digs and one block. Halle McManess added five kills, 10 digs and a block.
Camille Messer and Keely LaGrone pounded out four kills apiece, with Messer pulling up two digs and LaGrone five digs and an ace.
Cashlyne Blake put up 14 assists, eight digs and an ace, while Naomi Graham added 12 assists, seven digs and one kill. Kelly Wadlington pulled out 13 digs, with Megan Pendergrass adding two digs.
For the Lady Dogs, both Emily Churchman and Kailey Cargill put down nine kills, with Churchman adding 28 digs, one block and one assist and Cargill 19 digs and a block.
Kamryn Holder had 14 assists, nine digs and one kill. Savannah Driver had three kills and five digs, with Emily Garza addingthree digs, three assists and one kill.
Shelby Anders added 11 digs and Meagan Cuba four digs, with both serving up an ace. Madison Kropp added two assists, two digs and an ace.
Peytyn O’Campo had 12 digs and one assists. She was pulled up from the junior varsity for to play for libero Shelbie Schneider who had her appendix out last week.
Even with the Lady Eagles success in their pre-district schedule, Lady Eagles coach Wendy King does not feel another league title is a given.
“ Thrall is going to be very tough and everyone else will save their best efforts for us,” King said. “We have made some adjustments to our defense and I think that helped us a lot. We are ready and very positive going into district play but definitely not confident of a title. We hope to compete for one though.”
During King’s tenure as Milano head coach, the Lady Eagles have earned 12 district championships.
The Lady Eagles brought home the third place trophy from the weekend’s Snook tournament. In tourney play on Thursday, Milano defeated Fayetteville (25- 20, 25-12) and Aggieland Home School (25-14, 25-12).
In Saturday’s semifinals, the Lady Eagles had to face No. 3 Iola, where they fell 19-25, 23-25. It was the second time this season the two state ranked teams have met. Iola swept the Lady Eagles at home on Aug. 27.
On Saturday against the Lady Bulldogs, Morehead led the way with eight kills and five digs. Messer added five kills and a dig.
Wadl ington pul led up 22 digs and one assist. McManess pounded two kills and four digs and LaGrone one kill and five digs.
Blake and Graham each put up seven assists, with Blake adding four digs and Graham two digs.
The win put Iola in the championship game where they defeated Mumford for the tourney title.
The loss put Milano in the third place game against host Snook, where they won 25-23, 25-10.
Morehead had eight kills, three digs, a block and an ace. Messer and McManess each had two kills, with Messer adding one block.
Graham put up seven assists and six digs, with Blake adding three assists and four digs.
Pendergrass served two aces and pulled out two digs, Wadlington had two digs and LaGrone served one ace.
The Lady Eagles will continue loop play at Bartlett on Saturday and by hosting Buckholts on Tuesday.
The Lady Dogs’ game on Tuesday was the first time that she had hit the court since Aug. 31 at the Rockdale tournament.
During the week, Coelho said her team worked on specific drills.
“We worked on moving to the ball for a better position, serving to target zones, hitting to open spots,” she said. “For this group of girls, every day we look for improvement. Passing has improved along with our communication. Serves have improved tremendously since two-a-days.”
Although they struggled some in non- district action, Coelho still feels they have a shot at a post-season spot.
“I believe anything is possible and I look forward to the season. I believe we can have a spot in the playoffs.”
The Lady Dogs will continue league play as they host Holland on Saturday and travel to Thrall on Tuesday.