Call them young, call them inexperienced.
But one thing you can call the Belton Lady Tigers is victorious on Monday night.
After winning the first set and falling in the second and third sets, Belton never trailed in the final two sets to take win their season opener over Stony Point at Tiger Gym. The scores were 25-19, 22-25, 17-25, 25-20 and 15-8.
The win starts the Lady Tigers’ season at 1-0, with Temple coming into town on Tuesday.
Belton started the first game with a 7-3 lead. Stony Point tied the game at 7-7 before Belton jumped out to a 15-11 lead. Stony Point evened up the score at 17-17. Not to be outdone, the Lady Tigers closed out the first set with an 8-2 to take the first set.
The teams see-sawed through the second set before a late 6-3 push by Stony Point evened the match at one set apiece.
Stony Point broke away from the Lady Tigers in the third game after the teams were tied at 14-14. An 11-3 run gave Stony Point the third set and a 2-1 lead in sets.
Behind the serves of Abbey Morgan, Breanna Farrell, Allison Waits, Audrey Linder and Anna Becker, the Lady Tigers never trailed in the fourth set, leading by as many as eight points. Waits and Brey York made critical kills during the set to even the match at two sets apiece.
In the fifth and final game, Morgan served four consecutive points to give the Lady Tigers a 5-2 lead. Belton extended the lead to 8-3, forcing Stony Point to take a timeout. Following an Elecia Jackson block and a Waits’ kill, Stony Point was forced to call another timeout.
Waits’ 16th kill of the match set up Farrell’s ace to clinch the fifth set by seven points.
Waits had four blocks to go with her 16 kills. York had 10 kills and 22 assists, while Jamie Janczak added five blocks.
“We started off strong in the beginning,” Belton head coach Stacy Meyers said. “We were able to make them make mistakes, which gave our girls momentum. They took advantage of that, which is a positive. Then we made some mistakes and Stony Point got momentum. They can hit, which helped them in them win the third. Once we settled down, we made them earn their points.”
The fight in the Lady Tigers was evident in the fourth and fifth sets, which shows the message that the coaching staff had been preaching throughout camp.
“They played with heart tonight, showing that mental toughness that we have been preaching to them,” Meyers said. “They need to be a little more consistent on it, but it is there and it showed.”
The Lady Tigers host the TemCats tomorrow at Belton, with the Freshman squads playing at 5:30 and 6:30 in the auxiliary gym. The junior varsity game will be at 5:30pm tomorrow at Tiger Gym, followed by the varsity game at 6:30pm.