Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

September 1, 2013

GC Volleyball Notebook: Kerens, Blooming Grove win tournaments

Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Perception ...

It’s so hard to change. But that’s what the Kerens Lady Cats are out to do this season. Simply put: They want to let people know Kerens is a volleyball school, too.

They made giant strides last week, playing in front of the biggest home crowd in history in a sweep against Class 3A Palestine on Tuesday, and then they capped off the week with a memorable title in the Scurry-Rosser Tournament, sweeping Grand Saline on Saturday night.

“We made history for the Lady Cats volleyball team,’’ said Kerens coach Kristen Lynch. “We won our first tournament in the six years of our program’s existence. I am very proud of these girls and how hard they have worked. Great things are happening at Kerens and I hope it continues into a deep playoff run. We have the talent and we have the want-to this year. This can be our breakout year.

“Leading the way are my seniors. They have really stepped up and have played well along with my three juniors who play plenty around the court. We have a great combination.’’

The school has built such a fine reputation as a basketball powerhouse, that it’s touch to share the limelight, but Lynch points out hat all of her volleyball girls play basketball. It’s the same kids, but Kerens doesn’t have that reputation in volleyball — yet.

That’s what Lynch is trying to change, and she has the kind of team that can do just that this season.

Kerens was led Saturday by Breanna Baxter (24-for-29 serving, 4 aces, 15 kills, 19 blocks, 5 assists, 12 digs). Marqueshia Kelly (19 kills, 12 digs), Taylor Ames (28-of 33, 3 aces, 1 kill, 8 blocks, 37 assists) Tinesha Tolliver (17-of-22, 4 aces, 5 kills, 10 blocks) Cambree Betts (20-of-27, 2 aces. 3 kills, 10 digs, Kayla Kilcrease (19-of-20, 1 ace, 21 digs) and Emmanuela Armant (13-of-14, 1 ace, 7 kills).

Corsicana had a big week, beating Irving McArthur on the road Tuesday and beating Terrell on Friday night.

First-year coach Ashley Grace has seen her kids make big strides in the last two weeks and winning back-to-back matches can only hope a program that Grace is trying to turn around.

There’s also a lot of momentum building this season at Blooming Grove, where the Lady Lions are off to a fast start.

They have been playing well, and stepped up their game over the weekend when the won the championship trophy at their own Blooming Grove Tournament. The title came down to Blooming Grove and Frost, and the Lady Lions, who went unbeaten in the tournament, beat the Lady Polar Bears in straight sets to win the title.

Blooming Grove was led Saturday by Steely Southard (14 kills, 4 blocks, 3 aces and 1 assists), Falcon Thompson (2 kills, 4 aces, 2 digs, and 24 assists), Sidney Horner ( (4 kills, 4 aces, 2 digs and 6 assists), Allie Jordan (4 kills, 4 blocks, 1 assists), Mandie Shankie (3 kills) and Brittany Miller (10 kills, 6 aces).

Both Blooming Grove and Frost have had early success this season, and they meet again on Tuesday at Frost.