Rusk County school districts Leverett’s Chapel, Carlisle and West Rusk all boast volleyball teams that played well enough to make it to the playoffs.
Though Leverett’s Chapel lost their final two district games, their record going in was good enough to ensure them a spot in the playoffs. Elsewhere, the Carlisle Indians closed out their district efforts with back-to-back wins, and the West Rusk Raiders split their outcomes to tie for second place in their district.
After going 8-1 in their first nine district games, the West Rusk Raiders lost their second game in a row when they fell to the Sabine Cardinals. But they bounced back with a victory over Winona to tie Harmony for second place in the district. They will take on Harmony one more time before beginning the playoffs to decide who will go in as the second and third seed.
The Raiders lost to the Sabine Cardinals last Friday in a three-game match. The Cardinals took game one 25-13, game two 25-19 and game three 25-21.
Kayla Lewis led the offense for the Raiders with eight kills and 10 digs. Claire Nichols had the most assists with 22 and also had seven digs, but Allison Bobbitt led the defensive efforts with 24 digs.
Chloee Tidwell was close behind Bobbitt with 22 digs while Sydnee Martin passed a 2.60 and had nine digs. Finally, Hannah Trichel had four blocks.
However, the Raiders roared back in their final district match against Winona, beating the Wildcats in a decisive three-game match. The Raiders took game one 25-10, game two 25-15 and game three 25-9.
Lewis again led the Raider offense with 12 kills. She also passed a 2.0 and had seven digs. Nichols matched her efforts against Sabine, leading the team with 22 assists and six digs. Martin finished the night with the most digs, 18, while passing a 2.60.
Other standouts include Trichel, who had seven kills, two blocks and six digs, Bobbitt, who passed a 2.17 and had 15 digs, Brooklyn Floyd, who had four kills and 10 digs, Tidwell, who passed a 2.20 and had seven digs, Kodi Robertson, who had 11 digs and Natalie Farrow who passed a 3.0 and had six digs.
The Leverett’s Chapel Lions actually lost both of their games over the last week, dropping their district record to 6-6. Their performance in previous weeks, however, still ensured them a spot in the upcoming playoffs. The Lions drew a bye in the first round, so their playoff stint won’t begin until November 2 when they face Yantis at Union Grove.
Last Friday, the Lions hosted Linden-Kildare in a losing effort that was decided by four games moving their record to 6-5 in district and 16-20 overall.
The Lions lost the two competitive opening games 27-25 and 25-23 before rallying to take game three by a decisive 12-point margin 25-13. However, they were unable to sustain, losing game four 25-22.
Jillian Shaw was an all-around standout for the Lions and led the offense with 16 kills, two blocks, 21 digs, two assists and three aces. Yemeni Avalos led the Lions defensively with 36 digs and also had seven kills, one block and an ace. Finally, Michelle Jamaica finished the night with five kills, 34 digs, five aces, and was 15 for 15 from the serving line with eight points.
The Lions then traveled to Hawkins on Tuesday to compete in their final district match of the season. They played another competitive four-game match against the Hawks, and won the first game 25-22, but were unable to sustain. They lost both game two and game three 25-21 and game four 25-19.
Shaw was again a standout, leading her team on offense with 12 kills and six aces while also notching 10 digs and a block. Avalos once again led the defense with 40 digs and also had 10 kills. Jamaica also had a great night defensively with 36 kills while also grabbing four kills, an assist and an ace. Finally, Cynthia Paredes had seven digs, 20 assists and an ace.
The Lions will play a pre-playoffs warm-up game against St. Mary’s Catholic School of Longview at home at 1 p.m. on Friday.
The Carlisle Indians put together a late-district winning streak, putting away both San Augustine and Garrison over the last week.
The Indians took their penultimate district match against San Augustine, winning the match in three games. They won game one 25-13, game two 25-12 and game three 25-10.
Heather Craig led the team offensively and defensively with 14 kills, five digs and four aces. Tori Esters had 27 assists and five digs while Emily Pendleton had five kills and four blocks.
Carlisle then moved on to Garrison, beating them in another three-game match. The Indians took game one 25-10, game two 25-17 and game three 25-11.
Heather Craig led on both sides of the ball again with 12 kills and eight digs. Esters once again led the Indians on assists with 20 while also grabbing five digs. Pendleton finished the night with 10 kills and four blocks while Camdyn Gray had nine aces and two kills.
Carlisle will begin their playoff gambit against Union Grove at 6 p.m. on Monday at Letourneau University.