Melissa swept six-straight matches last weekend to claim the Denison Invitational volleyball tournament championship at Denison High School. The Lady Cards (11-3) bested Class 3A Van Alstyne, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17, for the title on Saturday after defeating 3A Pottsboro and 4A North Lamar in straight sets earlier in the day.
In Friday’s matches, Melissa downed 2A Valley View, 5A Cowetta, Oklahoma, and North Lamar without dropping a set.
Lady Cardinal outside hitter Caroline Kasson was named to the All-Tournament Team.
“At times in a season you need to be able to play through some inconsistencies,” Melissa head coach Frank DePaolo said Saturday. “We did not play our best volleyball during the first match of each day, yet we were still able to bring it around and win. It does say that we can dig down and return from adversity a little bit. … It kind of gave me a good idea about where we were. We’ve made some progress since the first tournament (at Wimberley). But we’re still feeling our way through and trying to figure out what our strengths are.”
Kasson collected 56 kills, 11 service aces and seven solo blocks over the six matches — tops for Melissa in each category — and she added 56 digs. Melissa libero Chelsea George tallied a team-high 62 digs for the tourney with 11 assists and nine aces.
First-year setters KG Matthews and Ella Branson rolled to 64 and 52 set-assists, respectively. Matthews also logged 23 kills and nine aces while Branson notched seven aces. Brooklee Waltrip finished with 22 kills.
“Caroline’s going to get hers,” DePaolo said of Kasson’s team-best kill total. “And one thing our setters have learned: If we’ve lost two or three points in a row they know where to go. Caroline is really in a zone so far this early part of the season. They know she can get them a kill if we really need it. We’re trying to involve that right and middle (more). Our goal this year is to work from the inside out — start early in the middle, get them active and make sure that their middles know that our middles are going to be aggressive. … We are still working on that.”