In the middle of the race for a TAPPS 2-4A playoff spot, Grace Community wanted to kick off the second half of league play with a sweep.
Led by Kylee Stanley, Rilee Miller and Emma Yeatts, the Lady Cougars achieved their goal, sweeping rival T.K. Gorman 25-17, 26-24, 25-15 at Haddad Gym.
“We practiced hard for this game, knowing that it’s important,” Grace coach Robyn Welch said. “Going back into the second round, we needed to win. Our goal was to win in three.”
Miller racked up 20 assists, seven kills and five aces. Yeatts tallied 12 kills, Abbie Rives had seven kills and Chelsey Poston added five digs for the Lady Cougars (14-13, 4-4).
The Lady Crusaders (14-16, 2-6) were led by Susannah Williams, who turned in seven kills and 11 service points. Mary Kate Robertson chipped in eight assists, Danielle Smith racked up 18 digs and Maggie Jorgenson added 13 digs.
Stanley powered Grace in Game 1, tallying 11 service points, including eight in a pivotal run that put the Lady Cougars ahead 21-11.
“Kylee knows her role really well,” Welch said. “She’s come in and served very consistent.
“She knows what to do and gets it done. I think that helped our confidence for sure.”
Miller served Grace to a 6-0 lead that swelled to 10-2 as the Lady Cougars looked primed to run away in Game 2. But Gorman battled back to within 16-15 and eventually took the lead at 23-22, forcing Welch to call a timeout.
After allowing the next point, Grace responded by scoring the next four points for the win.
“I told them in the timeout that they needed to focus and they did and they got the job done,” Welch said. “That’s what we do: fight to the end.”
Aside from the brief lead in Game 2, the Lady Crusaders only led one other time, at 2-1 in Game 1. The Lady Cougars cruised in Game 3 behind seven kills from Yeatts.
Gorman won the JV match 25-23, 25-22. Grace won the freshman match 25-12, 25-2.
Grace will host Dallas Christian (4-3 in district) in another key match at 6 p.m. Thursday. Gorman won’t play again until Dallas First Baptist visits Haddad Gym next Tuesday.