Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

September 3, 2013

GC Volleyball: Corsicana sweeps Waco Connally

Mike Phillips
Daily Sun

Corsicana — You didn’t have to ask McKenzie Lee twice how she feels about this year’s Corsicana volleyball team.

“I love the vibe on the court,’’ said Lee, a senior. “It’s the feeling of trusting your teammate.’’

The vibe was pretty sweet Tuesday as the Tigers swept Waco Connally, 25-15, 25-14, 25-22, to win their fifth regular season match in a row. The Tigers are 7-7 if you count tournaments, but outside the tournament format — in the five-set format — they are 6-1 and soaring.

“I like playing 3-out-of-5 better,’’ Corsicana first-year coach Ashley Grace said. “And not having to get up at 6 in the morning and get on a  bus to go play helps, too.’’

Still, Grace likes the way her team has competed in tournaments. They have been playing in the tougher rounds in the winner’s bracket, which has no doubt helped them hit their recent streak.

“I would rather have the losses in the gold (winner’s bracket) than win in the silver (loser’s bracket),’’ Grace said.”

Her kids looked like and played like winners Tuesday and had little trouble in the first two sets.

Cecilia Lopez had a 10-point run service in the second set to ignite the Tigers, taking them from 8-8 to 18-8. Lopez had three aces and eight digs, and a remarkable 2.8 (out of a possible 3.0) service-receiving rating for the match.

The Tigers were led at the net by Briana Biltz, who had 15 kills, 18 digs and eight assists. Her sister, Caroline, had 11 kills, 16 digs and two aces, and Carly Cates had 14 assists and 10 digs. Lee had three kills and two blocks.

McKala Goodwin had four kills, one block and five digs, and Mychellette Andrews had two kills and one block, but both of her kills were game-winners. She nailed down the first game and third games with kills as the Tigers had to come back from a 21-20 deficit to win the final set.

 “They just outplayed us,’’ Connally coach Tanya Willingham said. “They’re a good team. They move well.’’

And the Tigers are having more fun on the court.

“I think it’s going great,’’ Briana Biltz said. “We have more energy and we have more confidence.’’

Grace said she can see the energy level is changing all the time, and said it was a big difference on Tuesday.

“We’re learning to maintain our energy on the court for the whole game,’’ she said. “We’re getting more consistent and each player is getting more consistent.’’

The good news is the tournaments are over. The Tigers are off this weekend and have four more matches before beginning District 16-4A play on Sept. 27.

Who knows just how good the vibe will feel by then ...