Wichita Falls beats Denison
It started getting late early when the opening of the season and the beginning of district play were separated by only a single Tuesday.
The two-week stretch to prepare for the matches which count towards the playoffs is almost over and the Lady Yellow Jackets are hoping to continue making strides in a positive direction.
Cramming all of the learning and for a lot of the roster — first-time varsity experience — into a short window isn’t ideal. But Denison is trying to make the best of it, despite an outcome like the one where Wichita Falls earned the 25-19, 25-20, 25-20 victory in non-district action at Denison.
“The effort was there. The fight was there,” Denison head coach Jana Kelly said. “We’ve got to play better than that if we’re going to get some district wins but I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
Chloe Deweber had 14 kills and 16 digs, Maddie Harrington added 10 kills, Katherine Hodge chipped in eight kills, Amiyah Beamon totaled seven kills, Kenzie Clark handed out 31 assists to go with 21 digs, Breanna Branch collected 21 digs and Cheyenne Grant finished with 19 digs for Denison (0-4), which closes out non-district play at Greenville on Saturday morning.
In all three games the Lady Jackets had to fight from behind and each time they were in position to steal the frame away, and potentially extend the match, but Wichita Falls didn’t buckle as Denison was making its charge and the Lady Coyotes closed out the sweep.
“We were hanging in there,” Kelly said. “We made some changes to the lineup and we used that tonight and it seems to be working.”
It looked liked the Lady Coyotes were going to have an easy finish to the match as Wichita Falls followed the lead of Ashlyn Lewis and Kierra Eyiuche to the first four points of Game 3 and the score was 11-3 after a 7-1 run fueled by Denison errors.
But the Lady Jackets clawed back with a 7-1 run, punctuated by Jaidyn Schutes ace, made it a three-point deficit at 20-17. Twice more the margin was three and when Beamon overpowered a block it was down to two points at 22-20.
However, Wichita Falls weathered the rocky finish with the next three points and avoided Game 4 with a deciding fifth contest lurking.
“We got ourselves in a hole and had to fight back but it was too little, too late,” Kelly said.
Denison rebounded from losing the first game and had a quick lead in Game 2 but the advantage was short-lived. The score was tied at five before the Lady Coyotes went ahead to stay by using a 5-0 run to get there. Before the gap widened, Denison responded with four straight points, including a Deweber block, to trim the deficit to 13-11.
Wichita Falls stymied the momentum and built back up to a 19-13 lead and never led by less than four points as it picked up a 2-0 lead to the match.
In the opening stanza, the teams traded points early and Denison held a 5-4 advantage. The Lady Jackets were up 8-6 on a block by Hodge before a 5-0 burst gave Wichita Falls the lead for the rest of the game.
Hodge helped guide a 5-1 spurt which got Denison within a point at 20-19 but Brooklyn Amador landed a kill that was the start of five consecutive points to clinch the game.