Lady Gladiators prove they can do what it takes to win

Image: Tina Richards, 9th grade volleyball coach, helps her players with drills before the Mildred game.

Tina Richards, 9th grade volleyball coach, helps her players with drills before the Mildred game. (Karen Mathiowetz)

Varsity Action:
The fans were kept on the edge of their seats Tuesday night in the dome when the Lady Gladiator varsity volleyball team hosted the Mildred Lady Eagles. The team served and blocked like champions and also kept the ball in play by digging deep when it counted. Mildred was leading 13 – 10 when Madison Washington kept play going with a save and added back-to-back kills to tie the score at 13. Kortnei Johnson, Jac Lewis and Bailey Eubank stepped up with kills, blocks and digs to drive the Lady Gladiators to a 25-21 win.

Mildred got the best of Italy in the second game to put one in their win column 25-8. In the third game Italy retaliated by taking a 2-1 lead and never allowed Mildred to catch them. Kills by Johnson, Washington and Lewis helped give Italy a 25-16 win.

Ella Watts kept Mildred in the fourth game by serving 7 straight points to give her team a 16-11 lead. The Lady Gladiators never recovered and lost 25-16.

The Lady Gladiators proved they had what it takes to finish off an opponent in the final game of the night. Italy took and kept the lead until Aubyn Turner served and Italy couldn’t keep the ball in play to tie the game at 14. Johnson got a kill to bring Italy within one point of victory. Monserrat Figueroa stepped up with a perfect serve followed by a block at the net by Paige Westbrook as the Lady Gladiators did what it took to send Mildred home with a 16-14 loss.

Junior Varsity Action:
The Lady Gladiators took the lead in the first game and never looked back to beat the Lady Eagles 25-16. In the second game Mildred led most of the game, but Italy scored when it counted and won 26-24. Great offense by Britney Chambers and Hannah Washington and strong defense by Ashlyn Jacinto, Amber Hooker and Washington gave Italy the edge.

“I am very proud of this group of ladies!” said Coach Tina Richards. “I can’t wait to see the amazing things they will do in the future. Lady Gladiators all the way!”

Freshman Action:
Mildred came on strong in the first game and handed Italy a 25-23 loss. Italy battled back in the second game and dealt Mildred a 25-21 loss to force a game three. The lead see-sawed back and forth, but when the final point was scored, the Lady Gladiators were on top 15-12. Elizabeth Garcia was a stand-out on offense and defense. April Lusk, Paige Little and Brooke DeBorde helped Italy put this one in the win column.

“I believe this is the first win for them,” said Coach Tina Richards. “They worked really hard this week and it showed. For a freshman group, I am very proud of the job they did tonight.”