Well, the weather outside was frightful but the gym was so delightful as the first day of the Region XIV Volleyball Tournament got underway at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gymnasium on Friday.
The North's No. 1 seed, Tyler JC, scored a 3-0 win over the South's No. 4 seed, Lee College, in front of a lively crowd. The Apache Ladies (23-4) won 25-16, 25-15, 25-23.
TJC advances to meet South No. 2 seed San Jacinto at 11 a.m. Saturday. Blinn, the No. 1 seed from the South, meets the North's No. 2 seed Panola at 9 a.m.
Leaders for the Apache Ladies included nine kills for Aleksandra Gligoric and six kills from Longview native Halee Brewer and Eileen Acuna.
The early part of the match started off evenly with both teams exchanging points in the first set for a 10-10 tie.
However, the Apache Ladies slowly built a lead. A pair of tips from Gysell Zayas and Gligoric and an ace from Holland Ferguson found TJC up 16-13 prompting a Lee timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Apache Ladies continued their momentum going on a 4-1 run to go up 20-14 forcing another Lee timeout. That's where the momentum would stay as TJC took the first set 25-16.
In the second set, the Apache Ladies put on a hit parade with eight of its first 12 points coming from kills, including eight from Gligoric. She is second in the nation in kills per set.
TJC continued its scoring run as Lee only added two more points and had several balls go out of bounds before calling another timeout. With the score at 18-9, Lee hoped to reverse the momentum as the fans grew louder and louder with each passing point. However, the Apache Ladies came away with the win 25-15.
While it didn't help the Rebels in the second set, they took that spark into the third set to take an early lead. A kill and a ball out of bounds saw TJC in a 2-0 hole to start the set. Lee was able to hold that lead throughout most of the set while the Apache Ladies looked to come back but called a timeout trailing 17-15.
After the Rebels' first timeout, TJC found themselves in a 22-21 hole. Lee had a tip to go up 23-21 but TJC took advantage of two Rebels' errors including a ball out of bounds and a player into the net to tie the set at 23.
An ace from Gligoric and Lee hitting a ball out of bounds ended the set with a 25-23 come-from-behind victory to seal the win for TJC.