Mildred's Lady Eagles flew high at the Kerens Volleyball Tournament Thursday and Saturday and emerged with the championship trophy, winning what many believe is the first tournament ever for a Mildred volleyball team.
“This is the first ever varsity tournament championship these seniors have ever experienced, and it may Mildred’s first ever tournament title ever,” said Mildred coach Lawayne Siegert, who is in his second season as the team’s head coach.
Siegert turned the program around a year ago when his Lady Eagles reached the playoffs for the first time since 2014, and the program continues to trend upward.
He believes winning the Kerens Tournament will only help the team in the future.
“Watching these girls improve with each match (at the Kerens Tournament) was great for their confidence,” he said.
Mildred opened the tournament by defeating Avalon and Fruitvale on Thursday, then came back on Saturday to defeat the Kerens JV team and a tough Malakoff team before taking home the title against the Kerens varsity team.
In Saturday’s two big victories, Mildred knocked off Malakoff in straight sets, Mildred. 25-19, 25-23 and then swept Kerens in a best of five title match, 25-22, 26-24 and 31-29 in a dramatic finish as the final two sets went into deuce before Mildred put them away.
Mildred had beaten Kerens in a classic match on Tuesday in Mildred, where the Lady Eagles won the fifth set to claim the 3-2 victory.
“Our defense played great during the Malakoff and Kerens games,” Siegert said. “Nikki Turner and Bailey Burks anchored the Lady Eagles ,who moved the ball to several people offensively.”
Lilly Hanna led the way at the net with 12 kills and she also had three aces.
Abby Huitt 12 assists and Kenli Dalton had eight assists for Mildred, and Turner and Burks did a tremendous job defensively against Kerens digging up 23 and 15 balls, respectively, to lead the defense in the close match.
Mildred travels to Elkhart for a match on Tuesday night and Kerens is at home against Grand Saline Tuesday.