EARLY — With the District 6-3A volleyball opener a little more than two weeks away, the Early Lady Horns continued building positive momentum with a pair of home victories Tuesday.
The Lady Horns first swept Mullin, 25-6, 25-5, 25-15, then rallied for a 23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 15-8 five-set triumph over Grape Creek to push their win streak to seven matches. Included in the win streak is this past weekend's 3-0 performance at Strawn, which resulted in the program's first-ever tournament championship.
“I think we're a little further ahead than where I expected,” said Lady Horns third-year head coach Natalie Whitewood. “I didn't think we were going to be after the Lingleville game, but we're really come together.”
In the come-from-behind victory over Grape Creek, Trinity Tomlinson chalked up 17 kills trailed by 10 from Alexa Portillo, five from Taylor Summers, four from Savannah Holt, and three from Gwen Phillips.
Vance-Cady Gordon distributed 30 assists while Portillo and Phillips were each credited with one.
Tomlinson also served three aces while Gordon, Summers and Haley Spieckerman finished with one apiece.
Defensively, Summers notched 29 digs followed by Spieckerman with 28, Tomlinson with 27, Gordon with 13, Portillo with eight, Carrigan Norris with four and Phillips and Khyla Bell with two apiece.
At the net, Tomlinson finished with all three of Early's blocks.
In the lopsided win over Mullin, Portillo's five kills were a team-best trailed by three each from Tomlinson and Phillips, two by Summers and one by Gordon, who also contributed 11 assists.
Summers, Gordon and Tomlinson each served three aces as well, while Phillips and Spieckerman chipped in one apiece.
Defensively, Tomlinson and Portillo logged eight digs apiece trailed by seven from Summers, six from Spieckerman, four from Gordon, three from Bell, two from Phillips and one by Norris.
Tomlinson again collected Early's only block.
“Everything we're doing is better than what we did the game before,” Whitewood said in evaluating the Lady Horns' performance Tuesday. “ We're not letting balls hit the floor and that's a big thing. That's something we've been stressing a lot. I'm proud of them for their hustle.”
The Lady Horns (14-8) are back in action at 1 p.m. Saturday as they host Water Valley, then venture to Coleman (Sept. 10), welcome Brady (Sept. 14) and travel to Lampasas (Sept. 17) before the league opener at Hamilton (Sept. 20).
“We have a good, strong schedule to finish up heading into district,” Whitewood said.