The Belton Lady Tigers varsity volleyball team traveled back to the Premier Athletic Complex (PAC) in Leander Saturday morning to play in the Westwood Varsity Volleyball Showcase’s Bronze Bracket.
Belton faced Temple in the opening of the bracket. The Lady Tigers and TemCats faced each other on Aug. 4 in a scrimmage at Wildcat Gymnasium in Temple. So the Saturday morning match was a measuring stick of the progress of the two squads.
Both schools had solid play on each side. When the match ended, it was Temple that took away a 2-1 victory. The scores of the matches were 26-28, 25-16 and 25-19.
One thing that affected the Lady Tigers throughout the match was the deficits that they found themselves in and had to scramble to get out of.
Belton found themselves down 6-2 early in the first game. Kale Kincannon, Katie Bain and Madison Ward served the Lady Tigers back into the game, getting good sets from Emily Holder and kills from Hanna Griffin and Jamie Janczak. Belton tied the score at 11-11.
After a Temple timeout, the teams traded the next 10 points and the score was 16-16 when the TemCats went on a 5-1 run to take a 21-17 lead.
Belton head coach Krystal Brodbeck called a timeout and the team responded positively out of the break. Griffin and LéDea Harris had kills to keep Belton close.
Temple forced the Lady Tigers to the brink at 24-21. But Belton was able to break serve and score five straight points to take the first game with a two-point win.
The second game was all Temple and a series of TemCats scoring streaks. They led by as many as 10 points. Belton fought hard, but could only close the gap to nine at the conclusion of the game.
It set up a third and final game. Temple jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Harris’ block broke serve and started a 5-2 run to put the Lady Tigers in the lead, 5-4.
The teams traded the lead until the midpoint of the game, when Temple the lead 13-12. Kamryn Madden had two kills in the waning moments of the game to help keep the game close at 22-19. But three straight points at the end clinched a six-point win for Temple, the match by a 2-1 margin and advancement in the Bronze Championship bracket.
Harris had eight kills, seven digs and an assist. Madden had five kills, two blocks and two digs. Kincannon had nine assists and six digs. Holder had eight assists and seven digs.
Belton played Del Valle next in the consolation bracket semifinals, who lost their first round match to Ellison. The Lady Tigers went on to defeat the Lady Cardinals two games to one, by scores of 19-25, 25-11 and 25-13. Surovik had eight kills, six blocks, an assist and a dig. Jackson had seven kills two blocks and assist, while Griffin had five kills. Holder had 15 assists and 11 digs. Kincannon had 11 assists and four digs. Janczak had eight digs and three kills.
That set the Lady Tigers up in the Bronze Consolation finals against Pflugerville, who the Lady Tigers beat in Pool 7 play on Friday.
The Lady Panthers showed great heart and fight, as did Belton. In the end, the Lady Tigers swept Pflugerville in two games, winning each game by a score of 25-23.
Janczak and Ward each had 11 digs. Harris had five kills and two digs. Surovik had three kills, two digs and a block. Holder had nine assists and two digs.
Brodbeck was impressed with the resiliency of team after the three-set loss to Temple.
“We didn’t start out the way we preferred to, but our girls found a way to pull together and finish the tournament 6-3,” Brodbeck said. “It speaks highly for the positive things we have to look forward to. Westwood is a great tournament, and getting 9 games in three days makes us learn to push. We saw many positive things, but we have quite a bit to work on before next weekend. Or even Tuesday night.”
The team is now 6-4 on the year. They went 6-3 in the tournament, winning 13 games and losing eight. They outscored opponents 475-414 in the tournament.
Tuesday night will be another test for the Lady Tigers, as they host the always-tough Gatesville Lady Hornets at Tiger Gym.