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Lady Cats volleyball team enter district play on 2-game win streak

by Tyler Lennon

The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats volleyball team opened their season on a strong note, winning each of their first three games. After that, the Lady Cats followed by winning six of their next nine games, beating Miller Grove, Community, Paris, Mesquite, Brook Hill and Commerce to open their season with a record of 9-3.

From there, things started to get away from Sulphur Springs, as the wins began to become less frequent. A four-game losing streak dropped the Lady Cats record to under .500, though they did not let that get them down. 

Since then, the Lady Cats have bounced right back, winning three of their last four games. Sulphur Springs opened that stretch by beating Redwater 3-1, winning three straight sets after losing the opening set. 

A 3-0 loss to Melissa put them back at the .500 mark, but back-to-back wins over Clarksville and Pioneer Tech & Arts Academy put them back at 14-12 and feeling good going into district play. 

In their current two-game winning streak Sulphur Springs was able to sweep both Clarksville and PTAA, winning two of the sets over Clarksville by double-digits. Their win against PTAA was even more dominant, winning in straight sets by scores of 25-5, 25-18 and 25-7. 

The Lady Cats have been great at home this year, winning eight of their first 13 home matches. They have also been solid on the road, going 4-2. Tournament play has been where Sulphur Springs struggled, going 2-5 on neutral territory. 

With tournament season behind them, the Lady Cats enter district play, and will be looking to reach the post season for the fourth consecutive season. They will also be looking to advance past the first round again, something they’ve done in two of their last three trips to the post season.

District play begins Saturday, at noon, when Sulphur Springs travels to Paris. The two teams have already faced each other once this season, when Sulphur Springs was able to pull out a 2-1 win in tournament play.

The district opener should be a very tight match, as all three sets were close in their first battle. Sulphur Springs won the opening set 25-23, before falling 25-22 in the second set. The third and final set was just as close, with Sulphur Springs once again coming out on top, 25-22. 

The Lady Cats will stay on the road for their second district game as well, when they travel to Liberty-Eylau Tuesday, Sept. 27. Their first home district game will come next Friday, Sept. 30, when they play host to North Lamar. 

Offensively, the Lady Cats have gotten production from a number of different players, including seniors all the way to freshmen. Senior Addisyn Wall leads the team with 175 kills, with junior Mary Taylor behind her with 120 kills. 

Freshman Rainey Johnson isn’t far behind, accounting for 83 kills so far, and sophomore Kyra Carter has also gotten off to a strong start to the season, racking up 76 kills. 

Setting things up has been sophomore Trinity Jefferson, who is making a strong contribution in her first year on varsity. Jefferson leads the team with an impressive 414 assists, averaging just short of six assists per set. 

Defensively it has been senior Laney Hurst who has paced the way. Hurst has a team-high 240 digs, racking up almost 10 digs per match. That is such a high number, that nobody else on the team has more than 100 digs so far, though Wall, Kinley Friddle, Jefferson and Mali Maeker all have 90 or more. 

Sulphur Springs and their fans are excited to open district play. With 26 games and 75 sets already under their belt, the Lady Cats are ready to begin their march towards a fourth consecutive playoff berth.

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