East jumps on G-P in three
Victoria East battled out a 25-19 in the first game Tuesday night against Gregory-Portland.
Those 19 points by the Lady Cats would be the total amount they would score in the second and third games as Victoria East (14-9, 1-1) won its first district game in three straight games (25-19, 25-9, 25-10).
After the close first game to start the night, the Lady Titans continued to battle against Gregory Portland for the first 17 points of the second game.
Following an Alicia Hernandez ace, the first of two for her, the Lady Cats called a timeout. That's when the match changed completely.
"I told them to stay focused and push," said East coach Jamye Pauley about that timeout. "We were letting them stay in there, but it wasn't about letting them stay in there. It was about winning every single point and focusing on what our job was. And they did that."
Leading 11-6, Victoria East went on a 14-2 run to win the second game and continued its dominant performance with an 11-3 to being the third game of the night.
"There was lots of talking and lots of good defense," Pauley said. "Our girls ran the plays like they were supposed to. They moved the ball around and there was a lot of stepping up from everybody and great communication form them."
The Lady Titans were able to keep their mistakes to a minimum, but their counterparts weren't so lucky. The mistakes made by Gregory-Portland contributed heavily to the Lady Titans' long runs and, eventually, the match winning point.
Morgan Lienemann led the Lady Titans with 16 kills and 14 digs with three aces and a block. Destani Villarreal was second in assists with 22 and also contributed with nine kills, four aces and three digs.
"It was such an amazing game," Pauley said. "We had some great defense on our back row with Alicia Hernandez, but really all of the girls contributed. They all played and they all did a phenomenal job."
While the win was important on its own, getting the victory in a district makes it all the more important.
"It feels really good," Pauley said about winning the first district game of the season. "We finally got that confidence back after last week, which was a tough loss in five games."
The Lady Titans return to action this Friday when they host Calhoun. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.