Texas College exercised patience and saw its endurance rewarded.
After going four years without a victory over its arch-rivals, Texas College claimed two wins over Jarvis Christian Tuesday, the first in a Red River Athletic Conference match and the second in a designated non-conference affair.
TC overcame a two-set deficit and two match points to win the first contest 22-25, 23-25, 28-26, 25-18, 15-8. The Lady Steers carried over their momentum to the second match to defeat the Lady Bulldogs 25-14, 25-21, 16-25, 25-17.
Jarvis split the season series with TC in 2008 then swept the Lady Steers in 2009. Jarvis suspended its program for two years before returning to the court this fall.
Jarvis head coach Devon Thompson served as TC athletic director last year. TC head coach Russeal Wortham coached at Jarvis Christian before taking over at TC in 2008.
TC senior setter Denise Duplechin played on the 2009 Jarvis team. Wearing a different uniform, Duplechin played a key role in TC's comeback win with 29 assists and six kills in the conference match.
TC coughed up six-point leads in each of the first two games. The Lady Steers staved off a second match point when Duplechin set up Sherri Darden for a tie-breaking kill. TC closed the third game on a Jarvis hitting error. Duplechin powered TC with five assists, one kill and one ace to even the match at two games.
Kerryonna Green, a junior middle blocker from East St. Louis, Ill., logged three of her team-high 13 kills in the decisive fifth game.
Other leaders for TC included Darden (nine kills, four blocks), Amber Girdy (18 serves), Whitney Keys (14 digs) and Patricia Patterson (11 digs)
Latifah Brager paced Jarvis with 14 kills in the conference match and Brittany Moore tacked on 11 kills.
"I'm really proud of them for working hard," Wortham said. "They came back to win after being down two sets."
The conference win allowed TC (7-16, 2-5 in RRAC) to jump to seventh in the league standings and keep its postseason hopes alive with four conference matches left.
"Our goal is to make it to the playoffs," Wortham said. "The know they will have to continue working hard to secure a position in the tournament."
Red River Athletic Conference
Texas College 3, Jarvis Christian 2
Jarvis Christian 25 25 26 18 8
Texas College 22 23 28 25 15
KILLS LEADERS — JCC: Latifah Brager, 14; Brittany Moore, 11; LaReisha Murphy, 8; Kyerra Woods, 8; TC: Kerryonna Green, 13; Sherri Darden, 9; Jour'Dan Gardner, 7; Denise Duplechin, 6.
DIGS LEADERS — TC: Whitney Keys, 14; Sherri Darden, 9.
ASSISTS LEADERS — JCC: Yessica Marenco, 31; TC: Duplechin, 29.
BLOCKS LEADERS — JCC: Moore, 4; Murphy, 4; TC: Darden, 4; Sarah Francis, 3; Green, 3.
RECORDS — Jarvis Christian (0-7 in RRAC); Texas College 2-5 in RRAC).
Texas College 3, Jarvis Christian 1
Jarvis Christian 14 21 25 17
Texas College 25 25 16 25
RECORDS — Jarvis Christian 0-12 ; Texas College 7-16.
NEXT UP — Langston/Bacone at Jarvis Christian, 11 a.m./4 p.m. Saturday ; Bacone at Texas College, 7 p.m. Friday.