The Manvel Lady Mavericks opened the Class 5A volleyball playoffs with a 25-20, 25-13 and 25-22 bi-district sweep of Crosby Thursday at Shadow Creek High School.
The Lady Mavs, who advance to play Lamar Consolidated in the area round on Nov. 24 at Shadow Creek at 4 p.m., overcame a 10-6 first game deficit behind the hitting of Aryn Johnson, Devyn Lewis and Hailey Turner.
Manvel then pulled away in the second game with two Johnson aces and a pair of kills by Mary Kate-Preston providing the damage. Crosby hung tough and led 18-16 in the third set, but a block by Lyric Johnson and a Lady Cougars’ hitting miscue put the Lady Mavs in front for good at 19-18. Lewis then capped the sweep with a match-point kill.
Johnson led all hitters with 12 kills, while Morgan Sellers dished out 15 assists and Jayden Walker distributed 11 passes. Kristen Spruill also reached double figures with 13 digs.
“I thought our energy level was low and I think if we don’t up that in the playoffs, then we’re going to be beat by somebody who’s better than us or someone who wants it more,” Lady Mavs’ head coach Susan Kennedy said following the match. “But we got to hold our composure. We’re going to get some bad calls down the line.
“But I think after the first bad start, they pulled it together a bit.”
In other area action, the Shadow Creek Lady Sharks saw their season come to a close in the Class 6A bi-district playoffs with a 12-25, 14-25 and 21-25 defeat to Clear Falls Thursday at Alvin High School.
Dominique Phills blasted 12 kills to lead Shadow Creek, while Michelle Murphy provided 20 assists and 10 digs for a double double and Ella Hestand added 14 digs.
In action from earlier in the week, The Alvin Lady Yellowjackets prevailed in the rubber match with the Lady Sharks in the teams’ 23-6A playoff seed affair by a 16-25, 25-18, 22-25, 27-25 and 15-13 five set count on Nov. 16 at Manvel High School.
The Lady Jackets close their season at 17-8 overall.
Alvin survived four match points in overcoming a 24-21 fourth-game deficit, while closing the deciding fifth set with the match’s final four tallies. Anni Shewmake’s ace tied things at 13-13, while Marrik Hooker and Addison Hanson followed with back-to-back kills to settle the issue.
Hooker also blasted 15 kills and added 25 digs for a double double and Teresa Garza provided 11 kills and 25 digs for a double double, as well.
Phills paced Shadow Creek with 17 kills and 17 digs for a double double, while Murphy added 49 assists and 25 digs for a double double and Aria Rideaux did likewise with 16 kills and 24 digs.
“All of our team really wanted this,” Garza said following the match. “We knew if we were going to win, we would have to fight and come back like crazy. Every one just had the right mind-set and went for it.
“We didn’t let the score affect us. We went back and played to our full potential. It feels pretty good (to be the first Alvin team in five years to make the playoffs). I think it was shocking for some people in town. A lot of people underestimated us. I think we proved a lot of them wrong this year.”
The Lady Sharks pulled away in the first game behind the hitting of Rideaux, Phills and Deja Benjamin (14 kills and six blocks). Alvin answered in the second set with two aces apiece by Teresa Garza and Hannah Webster (four kills), along with two net winners each by Ana Garza, Hooker and Hanson (nine kills) also providing the damage.
The Lady Jackets then jumped to a 17-11 advantage in third game, only to have Shadow Creek countered with a 10-3 run, capped by back-to-back Phill kills to take the upper hand at 21-20. Phills also came through with a block a little later to increase the margin to 24-22 and Murphy’s service coaxed an Alvin hitting miscue.
Benjamin’s block put the Lady Sharks on the verge of sewing the match up in the fourth. However, Alvin rallied to tie it at 24-24 and despite Shadow Creek regaining the lead at 25-24 on Ella Hestand’s service, the Lady Jackets stormed back behind a Lady Sharks’ double contact, Hooker’s ace and a match-point kill by Teresa Garza to send the affair to a fifth and deciding game.
The teams followed with another set barnburner with the lead changing hands eight times. Hooker launched a baseline winner into the left corner, though, to give Alvin the lead for good at 14-13 and Hansen then produced the match-point blow.
Other match totals for Alvin included Shewmake with 20 assists and Korrigan Wright with 16 assists. Hestand also had 30 digs for the Lady Sharks.