East still Jonesing for district wins

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:59 PM CDT
BY Damon Sayles, dsayles@acnpapers.com

PLANO - Tuesday’s Plano Senior-Plano East volleyball match was more than just the average rivalry match-up.

In a district that is still wide open, every win is crucial.

Plano used a quick start to take an early lead, and the Lady Wildcats fought out a determined East team, taking a 25-7, 25-23, 25-19 road victory in a big 8-5A clash. Plano, with the win, remained in the middle of the pack with a 3-3 district record.

East, which picked up its first district win last Friday against Flower Mound, fell to 1-5 in 8-5A play.

Part of the Lady Wildcats’ win may have come from confidence alone. The team built momentum early and dominated the first game, scoring the first seven points of the set to take a 10-2 lead before East’s first timeout.

“That really got us started,” said Jennifer Cron, Plano head coach, of the early rally. “Who knows what would have happened if that didn’t get us started.”

Plano capitalized on East errors late and cruised through the first game. Game 2, however, saw two teams battling for every point. The Lady Panthers actually led, 7-2, at one point, but Plano managed to fight back.

With the game knotted at 22, Plano used kills by senior Kelsey Hickle to take a 2-0 lead entering the third game.

“The girls wanted it so bad, but hats off to Plano,” said Steven Jones, East head coach. “We just didn’t play well. We let that slow start affect us too long. We played much better ball after the first game, but we never could get a push to get ahead.”

Plano never trailed in Game 3, and the Lady Wildcats let their defense play a role in the win. Freshman Aubrey Davis, sophomore Maddie Morell and junior Ashley McDowell teamed up for clutch blocks, and Davis had one of her better offensive outings, recording several kills in the game and nine for the evening.

“We literally had one block after having 15 against Flower Mound,” Jones said. “It was like night and day out there. We have to learn from this.”

Cron added: “East beat Flower Mound, so we were gunning for it. It’s important to them, and it’s important for us to stay in the hunt for the playoffs. Every night is for a district playoff spot, and we don’t take any game lightly.”

Hickle had seven kills, and junior Taylor Watkins had six for the Lady Wildcats. Juniors Rian Allen and Kendall Yoes led the offensive charge for the Lady Panthers.

Plano will go for its third consecutive win Friday, as it hosts Plano West at 7 p.m. That match is also important as it is Dig Pink night with the Lady Wildcats and Lady Wolves attempting to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness.

East will return to action at the same time with a road match against Lewisville.

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