Finally some home cooking: Volleyball sweeps aside Yellowjackets

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By LAUREN JETTE

The Lady Panthers returned home to start the second round of district play against Llano Tuesday night and came up with the 25-10, 25-12 and 25-7 win.

“I think we executed well. I think we did a lot of the things we needed to,” said head coach Gretchen Peterson.

“Llano’s a really young team, so there were a lot of errors there, so it was a little bit of a slow game but I think we handled that well. I think we executed at a level that we were happy with and proud to do.”

Liberty Hill dominated the first set, and carried that momentum into the second set with a 3-0 lead, which forced a Llano timeout.

The Lady Yellowjackets stormed back to tie the set at 4 all, and then took a 5-4 lead. The Lady Panthers responded by taking the next two points, but Llano evened the set again at 6 all. Liberty Hill stormed back to take a 12-6 lead, forcing another Llano timeout.

In the final set, Liberty Hill jumped out to an 8-1 lead and limited the Lady Yellowjackets to seven points.

I thought we did a lot of good things, definitely steps in the right direction. I think it’s great everyone got in, everyone got playing time, so that’s always great when we get experience for those guys out on the court. So overall it was just a good night for us.”

Brooklyn Jones led the team with 17 assists and 5 aces, while Maddie Child added 13 assists. Kingsley Erps recorded 10 kills and 3 aces, while Hailey Barrows added 9 kills. Savannah Stanley recorded 8 digs and Peyton Phifer added 7 digs. Allee Nix recorded a block. Ella Shipper added 3 aces.

Last Friday, the Lady Panthers returned home to face Burnet after being on the road for the previous five matches. The Lady Panthers prevailed in three, 25-15, 25-14 and 25-20.

“It’s nice, it’s definitely nice to be at home,” Peterson said.

“I will commend the girls, no matter where we stepped on the court, that court kind of became home, so it was fine for them, but it is nice to not have to do all the other stuff, the leaving early, the getting home late, the bus rides, that kind of stuff. It’s definitely nice to just be here.”

Tuesday’s match kicked off the second round of district play. The Lady Panthers only dropped one match to Salado in the first round.

“We are at where we need to be, we just have to remember that we need to cut down on the unforced errors,” Peterson said.

“If we stay out of our way, that’s when we’re playing our best. In our games where we have lost, the Salado match, I think we really hurt ourselves and the girls are aware of that, especially in such a close match. If we had taken out three hitting errors per set, that’s the difference in the game right there. So that was a good learning experience for them, but I think we’re playing well, people are stepping up.”

Preseason matches proved to be tough for the Lady Panthers, but facing such a high level of opposition early in the season is paying off for the team now, Peterson said.

“I think the tough preseason is paying off and it’s serving us well because I think the girls have a lot of confidence and they’re handling what could be a stressful district season, I think they are total comfortable being out there together.”

Liberty Hill will host Taylor Friday night, and get a rematch against Salado next Tuesday.

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