STRAWN — The Early Lady Horns captured the Strawn tournament championship with a 25-12, 25-17 victory over the host Lady Greyhounds Saturday — the first tournament title in the volleyball program's six-year history.
“I am so proud and honored to coach these young ladies,” said Early third-year head coach Natalie Whitewood. “They give me all they have everyday and their hard work has paid off. We have gone from just participating in tournaments in the last three years to a second place this year and a tournament championship. We are coming together and gelling and that comes from the girls' determination to be great and the fight of good competition. What an outstanding weekend to go 3-0 and win our first-ever tournament championship.”
In the victory over Strawn, Taylor Summers led Early with five kills trailed by four from Trinity Tomlinson, two apiece from Carrigan Norris, Savannah Holt and Gwen Phillips, and one each by Vance-Cady Gordon and Alexa Portillo.
Gordon, an all-tournament selection, distributed 33 assists while Summers and Norris were credited with one each.
Tomlinson served seven aces while four each came from Norris and Gordon, Haley Spieckerman chipped in two and Portillo added one.
Defensively, Phillips recorded three blocks while Summers and Portillo added one apiece.
Speickerman led Early in digs.
To reach the championship game, the Lady Horns collected two victories Thursday, sweeping Gustine and Moran.
In Early's 25-9, 25-4 triumph over Gustine, Tomlinson sparked the attack with eight kills followed by two apiece from Norris, Summers and Portillo, and one from Holt.
Gordon distributed seven assists while Khyra Bell was credited with one.
Gordon also served three aces, Phillips added a pair and Norris, Summers and Portillo contributed one each.
Defensively, Summers, Gordon and Tomlinson collected five digs each, Portillo tallied four and Spieckerman, Bell and Phillips notched two apiece.
Holt recorded Early's lone block at the net.
During the Lady Horns' 25-9, 25-13 triumph over Moran, Phillips and Tomlinson led the way with four kills apiece, Summers added three and Gordon recorded one, while also dishing out all nine Early assists.
Tomlinson served seven aces as well, with two coming from Gordon, and Portillo and Spieckerman contributing one each.
Defensively, Spieckerman, Gordon and Tomlinson each logged four digs, Summers amassed three, and Patillo collected two.
Tomlinson and Phillips were credited with one block apiece
The Lady Horns (12-8) will host Grape Creek and Mullin in a dual match Tuesday, with Early's games slated for 4 and 7 p.m.