By TONY EIERDAM
Springtown hitters Shelbi Meek, Ashley Mainord and Katelyn Mainord combined for 30 kills to lead the state-ranked No. 14 Lady Porcupines to a 25-9, 25-12, 25-14 win over the Mineral Wells Lady Rams Tuesday night in a District 6-3A volleyball match at the MWHS gym.
The win drops the fourth-place Lady Rams to 3-5 in district play, while first-place Springtown moves to 8-0.
Meek led all hitters with 14 kills, four more than the Lady Rams produced as a team. Bethany Allen led MWHS with four kills, with Sydney Vasquez adding three.
“Springtown is very good,” Lady Rams head coach Taylor Eggleston said. “They make very few mistakes and they get after it at the net. They don’t back down, and rightfully so, and that is why you see them ranked in state.
“They are the class of the district, they are fast and they just go, go, go, and again, they rarely make mistakes.”
Despite the sweep Eggleston did see positives.
“I thought Ashley (Valdez) and Bailey (Simonton) had some good blocks,” she said. “Springtown ran their strongest two hitters out of the middle (Katelynn and Ashley Mainord), so getting blocks on them is a good sign.
“Ashley really did a good job of getting those touches, and she did a great job of following them up. It really showed in the second game and carried over to the third game. I thought that was a positive.
“I also thought we got more touches on blocks this time against Springtown as compared to the first time we played them.
“That is a tribute to our middle hitters and how well they moved.”
Paced by four kills from Meek and four stoppers by Ashley Mainord, Springtown jumped out to a 20-7 lead in the opener despite MWHS taking an early 3-0 lead.
Consecutive kills by Lady Rams outside hitter Vasquez cut the lead to 20-9, but Meek stopped the brief rally with a kill and then fired four consecutive aces to seal game one.
In game two, Allen came up with a pair of kills but Springtown, courtesy of five send downs by Meek, cruised to a 17-5 lead.
With the visitors leading 20-7, the Lady Rams scored four of the next five points to cut the lead to 21-11. Simonton had a block in the run which was also helped by a kill each from Allen and Vasquez. Another point came on a SHS service error, one of the few Lady Porcupines’ mistakes during the match.
Meek again stopped an MWHS rally with a kill, Katelynn Mainord added a stopper and Ashley Mainord fired an ace to bring the contest to game point.
Two rallies later, Brooklyn Dauenhauer ended the second game with a kill from the outside.
The Lady Rams did not back down and were trailing just 7-5 after the first 12 rallies of the third game. Simonton had a kill on a set by Erin Burgeson, and aggressive serving forced Springtown into three return errors and a net violation.
But the Lady Porcupines quickly rebounded and went on an 11-0 run – paced by three kills and a block by Meek and three stoppers from Katelynn Mainord – to take an 18-5 lead.
Again, the Lady Rams refused to give up and came back with four points during the following five rallies to cut the lead to 19-9.
Allen had a kill in the short run, with Mason Malone firing a pair of aces. MWHS scored another point after a Springtown return error.
The teams swapped points during the ensuing six rallies, and the Lady Rams added two points after a pair of SHS return errors as the Lady Porcupines led 23-14.
A MWHS return error brought game three to match point, and on the next rally Mackensie Martin served an ace to seal the contest and the match.