Melissa’s hot start to the season continued over the past week, even with their first loss of the season coming at the Prosper tournament. The Lady Cards are 14-1 after the week’s play and were the second place team in Prosper after falling to Keller in the championship game.
"It has been a great start and we are excited about what this year has in store," Coach Whitney Nelson said before the tournament. "There will be a lot of strong teams at the Prosper tournament this weekend, but we are working hard in the gym to prepare. We are hoping to rise to the challenge and show other teams that we are a strong team this weekend."
Winning five of six games against many larger schools and losing only to a Class 5A team will help achieve those goals.
Melissa will travel northwest on Friday and play in Nocona with the varsity game starting at 4:30 p.m.
Melissa rebounded nicely after its only loss of the season when the girls played host to Aubrey on Aug. 27. Melissa swept the Lady Chaps, taking the games in convincing manor, 25-13, 25-19 and 25-16.
Riley Duzenack was unstoppable in the matchup, scoring 21 points off of serves with four aces in the game. She also added five kills to her stat sheet. Madison Rose and Connar Newberry each had seven kills to lead the Melissa offense. Whitney Taylor ended the game with three blocks.
Melissa took on a tough 5A club in the semifinals on Aug. 24 in Prosper, and despite coming close they were unable to get the win, falling 19-25 and 24-26.
After the game Nelson said, "We played very strong, but found some things we needed to work on."
Newberry and Rose led the team with six kills each in the set and Duzenack had 12 assists.
The Lady Cardinals topped Gunter in the semi-finals with back to back 25-18 games. Duzenack had an outstanding set with 16 points off serves, while Newberry led the team with seven kills.
The girls were the number one seed in their pool coming into their first game on Saturday. They started things off with a win over Greenville, 25-14 and 25-9. Duzenack and Amber Melcher led the team with a combined 14 set assists.
Pilot Point 0
In a close set, Melissa was able to edge Pilot Point 25-22 and 25-20 to win its final game of pool play on Aug. 22. Melcher had an outstanding game, scoring 12 points off serves, while Alli Boedecker finished the game with four kills to help lift Melissa to the win.
Rose and Taylor had three blocks each.
North Hills 0
In their second game of the tournament, the Lady Cardinals took down North Hills Prep from Irving, 25-10 and 25-15, led by Duzenack and Henger from the serving position. The Lady Cardinals had 21 kills in the set with six different players registering at least two.
North Lamar 0
Melissa opened up the Prosper tournament against North Lamar, which proved outmatched by the young Lady Cardinal team. Melissa won 25-15 and 25-20. Rose led the team with 11 kills in the set.
The junior varsity Melissa Lady Cardinals had a dominating performance versus the Aubrey Chaparrals on Aug. 27. The girls won 25-11 and 25-17, and, according to their coaching staff, showed great talent.
Melissa freshmen Ashley Sutherland and Haley Bazis had breakout performances, with a few kills and blocks to help the Lady Cardinals to victory.