Hebron makes a killing off Plano

Saturday, October 9, 2010 1:16 AM CDT
BY Damon Sayles, dsayles@acnpapers.com

CARROLLTON - Plano Senior’s ideas of staying in the volleyball playoff hunt dwindled with each Hebron kill and block Friday night.

The Lady Wildcats battled and showed their scrappiness, but it wasn’t enough for a Hebron team playing with confidence during its Homecoming week.

Hebron defeated Plano in three games (25-15, 25-23, 25-19) at the Hebron gym. The win gave the Hawks their third consecutive victory and upped their District 8-5A record to 7-2 on the season. Plano fell to 3-6 in the district standings and slipped into a situation where one more loss could eliminate it from postseason contention.

Plano couldn’t overcome Hebron’s balance of a strong offensive attack that meshed well with sound defensive play. Hebron senior Tiffany Baker, who has orally committed to Tennessee, gave the Lady Wildcats fits with multiple thunderous kill attempts.

“At times, we showed confidence. At other times, we didn’t,” said Jennifer Cron, Plano head coach. “You can’t go into a game with those mixed feelings.”

The first game may have shown Hebron’s balance the most.

The Hawks dominated with their offense and won extra points with key defensive plays. Hebron sophomore Micaela Spann ended the game with a kill.

The second game epitomized the old cliché of volleyball being a game of spurts. Hebron took an 8-1 lead, only to lose the next eight points. Plano trailed, 22-14, at one point, but the play of seniors Taylor Story, Kendal Eckerd and junior Ashley McDowell helped the Lady Wildcats fight off three game points late.

Hebron finished the set with a Baker kill, giving the Lady Hawks a 2-0 advantage.

“We played really well the first game. We were moving and shaking,” said Karin Keeney, Hebron head coach. “Then the second game came. We just fell asleep. You can’t do that against a good team.”

Cron added: “We started off slow, and we built our confidence. We just had too many errors at the wrong times. We had some people not on top of their game, which hurts us against the good teams. We looked young out there.”

The third and final game appeared to belong to Plano early, as the Lady Wildcats took a 10-6 lead. Hebron, however, battled back to tie the game at 12 and Baker recorded back-to-back kills to give the Lady Hawks the lead for good.

“They made it fun against Hebron, but it’s a matter of getting consistent,” Cron said. “We’ve got to turn that corner to where we’re consistent enough to win matches like these.

Part of the Game 3 comeback came from strong defense by the Lady Hawks, something Keeney said the team has been working more on as the regular season comes to an end.

“If we can play great defense, we can play with anybody, because we have the offense,” she said. “It all starts with the block. They know that’s something we must focus on.”

Plano will next host Flower Mound at 7 p.m. Tuesday

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