“Finish Empty!” This motto that reverberated with exhaustion and pride echoed across the gymnasium. The Henderson Varsity Lady Lions secured a hard-fought victory over the Rusk Eagles this past Tuesday night. 

They dominated the court with set scores consisting of 25-13, 25-22, and 25-18. Every chance they got the volleyball girls took it, which is a big accomplishment despite everything occurring within the sports community.

No one is a stranger to the COVID-19 scene by now, but when asked about the morale of the student-athletes, Head Coach Cal Goss had some rather inspiring words to say.

“The first case of COVID that affected the girls was back in June, and when the girls were first coming back to the scene most were skeptical at first,” said Coach Goss. But that didn’t stop them, even after more COVID cases popped up in the Henderson Independent School District.

He discussed the implementation of the tub, with their own personal towel, water bottle, and gator face covering, a precautionary measure to ensure no sharing of personal items. As well as a volunteer who wipes down the seats between sets, team member switches, and time out team talks.

This was their second home game of the season and they were ready to win on their own turf. One concern that Coach Goss mentioned in passing was a few injuries on the team that they are having to adjust to, but he hopes that the girls would step up and take on responsibilities that come from becoming pillars for the team. 

Despite all of these obstacles, it seemed that fortune favored the Varsity volleyball girls Tuesday, bringing in a sweeping victory in all three sets. 

In the first set, it wasn’t even ten minutes in when the girls had racked up the score to 10-3. Some notable moments during the first set were by #5 Taylor Helton, and #15 Taylor Lybrand. 

Each lady garnered quite a bit of attention with their contributions. These two ladies finished out the game with amazing stats, Helton with 9 kills and 6 blocks while Lybrand amassed 9 kills, 4 blocks, and 2 aces.

When the final moments came, the Henderson girls pushed the Rusk Eagles into a corner leading the scoreboard 25 to 13. However, when the girls second set started, there was a bit of tension in the air.

The Rusk ladies were hitting harder during the second set, scoring point for point with the Henderson Lions for almost ten minutes. Later into the set though, Henderson started to find a rhythm and drove the other girls back towards the end, securing the win 25 to 22.

During the third set, the exhaustion that all the girls were feeling was evident in their facial expressions. Tough perseverance and determination kept the Henderson Lady Lions moving though, as they battled out the last set quite swiftly, ending with a score of 25 to 18.

Two other players, #6 Cora Jimerson and #10 Ty’Esha Mosley really started to shine towards the end of the second set and during the third set. Mosley accumulated 6 kills and 2 blocks by the end of the game and Jimerson came behind with 1 kill and 15 assists.

One other notable mention that stood out in the sets was #4 Camille Freeman who ended the game with 1 kill and 7 assists.

These ladies played brilliantly despite all the setbacks that have occurred because of COVID and injuries during the preseason practices. They play 3 dual tournaments before their next single game against Tatum which will be an away game, August 28.

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