Volleyball playoffs ended in the first round, unfortunately, for both Kilgore High School and Overton High School, but that doesn’t mean either team is headed in the wrong direction.
In fact, both programs are trending up.
Kilgore, led by second-year coach Madeline Harris, has finished now second overall in district play a year ago, rebounded after losing that talented team to make the playoffs this season, and has a good young base of talent coming back, even with a good-sized group of seniors.
Overton is coached by Rickey Hammontree, who has had great success in East Texas volleyball, having guided Leverett’s Chapel to the final rounds of the playoffs on a few occasions, and who also has talent returning next year.
Kilgore: Harris’s Lady Bulldogs had an unenviable task of trying to knock off Gilmer, a number one seed facing fourth-seed KHS at Longview’s Lobo Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
It didn’t go like Kilgore had hoped. Gilmer won the first set, 25-20, but the Lady ‘Dogs gave them a scare, winning set two, 21-25. Gilmer regained its composure a bit, won set three, 25-17, and then finished with a 25-17 win in set four.
Gilmer continues on for the second, or area, round. The season ended for the Lady Bulldogs with a 9-10 record.
Miah Thomas got nine kills for Kilgore, and two blocks. Alexis Anderson had three blocks, and Ashton Vallery had 22 assists.
The Lady Bulldogs will lose another good group of seniors to graduation again this spring. Thomas will graduate, as will Anderson, plus Alexis M. Anderson, A’viana McIntyre, Sha’Destiny Chism, and KeKe Roy.
Overton: Facing Beckville is tough. Just ask 26-1 Sabine, whose lone loss this season is to the 2A power, ranked number one in the entire state.
That was the task facing the Lady Mustangs on Saturday afternoon at Spring Hill, across Longview from Kilgore-Gilmer.
Overton just couldn’t mount much of a fight with 18 aces by Beckville, who also got 10 kills from Lindsey Baker in dealing Overton a 7-25, 7-25, 7-25 defeat.
Beckville moves on, of course, likely to the state tournament, the way they’re playing. Overton finishes the season with a 7-13 record.
Lady Mustangs who are seniors this year are Taleyah Tilley, Sarrah Garrett, Peyton Sartors, Jewely English, Lexi Jackson, and Makayla Moser.