Usually it’s the cat that plays with its prey, but on Sept. 10 it was the birds that had it all under control. Melissa played host to Paris High School in the Bird Cage on Tuesday and made winning look easy as it swept the Cats.
Melissa held its spot in the statewide volleyball rankings by the Texas Girls Coaches Association on Monday. The Lady Cardinals stayed at No. 4 in Class 3A as Borger continued to lead the poll. Argyle and Decatur placed No. 6 and No. 8, respectively.
The Lady Cards now stand at 17-1 on the season and will look to get two more in the win column when they take on Dallas Roosevelt on Friday and then at Celina the following Tuesday.
Despite a third of the starting force of the Lady Cards being sidelined on Tuesday night, Melissa was able to sweep Paris, rallying from a big deficit in the opening match to get the win and get the momentum on their side.
The girls lost two starters — Amanda Kocsis and Whitney Taylor — to injuries and had to make adjustments with replacements Kim Ortleb and Haley Bazis.
"The first game was rough, starting off falling behind 2-13, but the girls fought back and won 25-22," Melissa Head Coach Whitney Nelson said.
Melissa was down five-nil early, and they trailed 7-2 after a block from Alli Boedecker. Paris scored six unanswered points, and with her team in unfamiliar territory, Nelson called a timeout to settle her flock with the score sitting at 13-2.
Whatever she said worked.
The Lady Cards went on a scoring tear with Madison Rose hammering the ball at the net, registering two kills that helped Melissa score six straight and force a Paris time out. Riley Duzenack landed a kill off the face of Paris’ libero to bring Melissa within two points. A kill from Connar Newberry knotted the score at 16-16.
The momentum had swung 180 degrees and Melissa was now unstoppable. The Lady Cards finished out the opener with a 25-22 win and then really flexed their muscles to show why they are ranked in the top five in the state, winning the second game 25-8 and the third 25-11.
The Lady Cardinals traveled to Denison on Sept. 6, and swept their opponents quickly in three games, 25-10, 25-10 and 25-12.
"The Lady cards put in a lot of hard work this week with the bye and are excited to finish the pre-season strong," Nelson said. "The girls have a full schedule next week at home starting with Paris and ending with Dallas Roosevelt on homecoming night."