Tom Bean takes down Collinsville

Jason Della Rosa
Herald Democrat
Tom Bean's Emma Lowing led the Lady Tomcats with nine kills during a district victory against Collinsville.

COLLINSVILLE — The Lady Tomcats are playing like a team on a mission and it’s a simple one: follow up the best season in school history with the best season in school history.

Tom Bean went to the region semifinals last fall for the first time, losing there against defending 2A champ and eventual state runner-up Crawford. It was the product of a group that had been building to be among the best in the state and despite losing a talented senior core, this year’s version feels they can be just as good.

“You’re not the underdogs anymore. It’s going to be tougher,” Lady Tomcats head coach Dene Adams said. “They have some big shoes to fill and they want to fill them. We have to make our presence known again.”

So far Tom Bean has shown that with a pair of tournament titles and a strong start to district play after the Lady Tomcats defeated Collinsville, 25-20, 25-12, 25-15, in 16-2A action that they will be positioned for another deep run.

Emma Lowing had nine kills and five aces, Raylynn Adams totaled 26 assists, 10 digs and eight kills, Laramie Worley added seven kills, seven digs and three aces, Jessie Ball put down six kills, Hannah Kelly and Kailey Vick each chipped in five kills and five digs and Taylor Brown collected 12 digs for Tom Bean (18-4, 2-0), which travels to Sam Rayburn on Friday afternoon.

“Most of them are juniors except for two and they’ve been playing together since the sixth grade,” Adams said. “They know they can do great things. We have to take it one game at a time, one game at a time. That’s how we’ll get where we want to go.”

Addisyn McDonnell had eight kills, Rosie Cordero and Abby Martin chipped in six kills apiece, Audrey Miller collected 17 digs, Devyn Elvington totaled 12 assists and 11 digs and Shelby Derzapf finished with nine assists and eight digs for Collinsville (9-15, 1-1), which will look to rebound when it visits Tioga on Friday.After needing to pull out the victory in Game 1, the Lady Tomcats had a much easier time in the final two frames.

Game 2 was tied at four before Tom Bean went in front for good. A quick 4-0 burst from Adams, Ball and Worley put the visitors up 10-5 and the margin continued to widen.

Collinsville pulled within six points at 15-9 before the Lady Tomcats followed with an 8-1 run that included kills from Worley and Kelly, who also landed an ace, to put Tom Bean on the verge of a 2-0 advantage as it went up 23-11.

Collinsville tried to extend the match as Haidyn Bryson landed consecutive aces and Addisyn McDonnell and Abby Martin sparked the 6-1 start to Game 3.

The lead was short-lived as Adams, Vick and Kelly propelled the early portion of what turned into a 15-1 run before Martin’s kill stunted the momentum for a moment.

Three quick points from the Lady Pirates got the deficit down to six at 16-10 but the damage was done and Collinsville wouldn't get any closer.

Delaney Hemming had an ace which made it a 10-point contest at 21-11 and Kelly capped off the sweep with a kill.

It looked Tom Bean was going to cruise right from the start. The Lady Tomcats came out strong with Lowing putting down three kills to go with an ace from Worley and it was quickly 7-1 in Tom Bean’s favor.

Devyn Elvington and Collinsville provided an immediate response with six straight points to tie the score.

The Lady Pirates went in front for the first time at 10-9 and were up 15-11 following a kill by McDonnell.

But a service error started a 7-0 run for Tom Bean, which looked like it had regained control.

McDonnell came up with a block and a kill as Collinsville tied the score at 18 and the sides traded points before a 5-0 run with consecutive aces from Worley put the Lady Tomcats a point away from avoiding the early 1-0 hole that the Lady Pirates were now about to try and dig out from.

“You never underestimate anybody,” Adams said. "We had to overcome some mistakes.”