ZEPHYR — Two of Brown County's four volleyball programs crossed paths Friday as the Early Lady Horns cruised to a 25-9, 25-6, 25-14 road victory over the Zephyr Lady Bulldogs.
Early improved to 4-5 overall with the victory, bouncing back from a three-set loss at Lingleville on Tuesday.
“I thought we played really well,” said Early head coach Natalie Whitewood. “We had to switch some things. I don't think we showed up against Lingleville. We were frustrated so we changed things up. Having Gwen (Phillips) back helps, her presence on the net helps. Overall I was very excited.”
Zephyr, meanwhile, is dealing with the growing pains that come with a roster loaded with freshmen and sophomores.
“That makes thing tough, especially facing hitters from a 3A school,” said Zephyr head coach Kenzie Krause. “I threw them into a new rotation and the second we started the game we had an injury, and another girl was sick and she was out, so that was rough.”
Early controlled the entire match, including scoring 10 of the final 12 points in the opener to secure a 16-point victory. A kill by Zephyr's Emily Miller briefly stalled the run.
In the second set, a kill from Trinity Tomlinson quickly put the Lady Horns up by double figures, 14-4, and Early tallied 11 of the final 13 points.
The finale saw the Lady Horns chalk up the first 15 points, but Zephyr was able to reduce the final margin to 11. Chasity Fuentes picked up a late kill for the Lady Bulldogs.
For the Lady Horns, Tomlinson's 14 kills led the charge followed by seven from Taylor Summers, four from Phillips, three each from Carrigan Norris and Alexa Portillo and one from Vance-Cady Gordon, who also dished out 21 assists.
Portillo served two aces while Tomlinson, Norris, and Summers each recorded one.
Defensively, Gordon collected 11 digs trailed by Summers with eight, Haley Spieckerman with six, Tomlinson and Portillo each with five, Norris with three, and Phillips with two digs and Early's lone block.
“We're coming together more as a team,” Whitewood said. “In Lingleville I felt like they were way separate, it just wasn't us, just a bad day. We didn't miss as many serves tonight and we're not letting hitting ball hit the floor and that's a big thing.”
Looking ahead for Zephyr, Krause said, “They've come a long way since the Aug. 3 scrimmage at Early, but they're still not trusting each other yet. I just want to see us become a family and play better as a team.”
Early is back in action at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ranger, while Zephyr visits Paint Rock at 5 p.m. Tuesday.