Lady Wolves Area Champs
By Rodney White
The Lady Wolves used strong hitting by seniors Katelyn Albers, Marlee Reynolds and Mallory Jeffers to claim the area Volleyball Championship with a three game sweep over the Pecos Lady Eagles, 25-18, 25-19, 25-16.
The Lady Wolves were never able to pull away from the Eagles, as they appeared a little rusty after a couple of weeks without much action. The problem was compounded when bus problems caused the Lady Wolves to show up only 30 minutes before the game, and everyone appeared to be just a little nervous without appropriate time to relax and warm up before the match. But Dalhart came out strong and opened the first game with a 4-0 run off of a kill by Marlee, and a block assist by Marlee and Sarah Cover. Marlee Reynolds, who will sign with Colorado State on Wednesday afternoon at the high school, proved why she is so valuable to the team with a dig that resulted in a point for Dalhart to stretch the lead to 9-5. Pecos set Mallory Jeffers up with an overpass and she thanked them by slamming the ball back down at their feet for another point at 10-5. Shelby Wilt and Sarah Cover jumped up for another block assist at 13-7 then Marlee provided kills for 15-10, 16-12, and 17-13. Katelyn Albers came alive with an awesome kill that no one could return for a point at 19-15. Shelby had a beautiful set to Abbie Steele, for a 20-16 lead. Albers returned for another big point at 23-17, and Shelby Wilt used a quick set to Mallory for a kill for the final point 25-18.
Game two was very similar with Pecos playing very well and the Lady Wolves starting to regain some of their serving skills. The Lady Wolves who had no aces in game one, which has been one of their strong points during the district run, were able to come up with four aces in game two; Katelyn Albers had two of the aces. Marlee got a point off of an overpass by Pecos to make the score 3-1. Brynn Dunham came in to serve an ace at 4-1. Katelyn, who had seven kills in the second game, had two kills in a row to make the score 9-6. Abbie Steele set the ball to Mallory Jeffers for a point at 10-6, then Shelby set the ball back to Mallory for the next two points to make the score 12-6. Katelyn again was the spark plug for the team with four kills to make the score 17-13. Shelby set the ball back to Marlee who came up from deep on the back row to make the score 18-13. Katelyn had two aces in a row to move the Lady Wolves ahead 20-13. Sarah Cover provided a kill to stretch the lead to 21-16. After Marlee and Mallory traded kills, Shelby set the ball to Mallory for the final point, and Dalhart had won the second game 25-19.
Game three started out as a dog fight with both teams playing hard, but committing errors. Pecos took their first lead of the match 0-1, but Marlee tied the game with a kill at 1-1. Marlee and Mallory combined for a block at 2-1 then Mallory provided another point with a kill at 4-3, and 5-4. Pecos called a time out after a Dalhart run and the Eagles were trailing 7-5. Albers and Cover had kills, and Katelyn served an ace to make the lead 11-6. Shelby threw over a little trash to an unsuspecting Pecos team and scored a point to make the lead 12-6. Shelby had a set to Marlee for two consecutive points and the Lady Wolves were leading 14-7. Shelby then changed to Mallory for the next point and the Dalhart attack provided a lead of 15-7. Another overpass by Pecos set Katelyn up for a vicious kill to make the score 18-8. The Lady Wolves looked like they were on their way to victory, but Pecos came back with six points in a row mostly from hitting errors by the Lady Wolves. Dalhart took a time out with a four point lead, 18-14. Dalhart refocused after the time out, and Abbie set the ball to Katelyn for a kill at 20-14. Shelby set the ball to Katelyn for two more points to make the lead 23-15. Shelby kept the Eagles off balance with a set to Sarah for a kill at 24-15. Sarah and Katelyn combined for a block assist to make the final score 25-16.
The Lady Wolves are now 32-11 for the season. Things do not get any easier for the Lady Wolves as they have to face off Tuesday against perennial volleyball power house Monahans. The Lady Wolves will face the number two ranked Monahans team Tuesday night at Lubbock Estacado High School. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. Last year, Dalhart knocked Monahans out of the playoffs preventing them from making the regional tournament for the first time in eight years. Monahans is currently 36-5 for the year. The Lady Wolves will not have time to worry about getting rusty with only one day to practice for the Monahans team, but Coach Satterfield will have the girls ready, and hopefully they will be peaking at just the right time.
Statistics: Kills – Katelyn Albers 16, Mallory Jeffers 12, Marlee Reynolds 11, Sarah Cover 3, Abbie Steele 1; Blocks – Cover 3, Jeffers 2, Reynolds 3, Shelby Wilt 1, Albers 1; Aces – Albers 3, Brynn Dunham 1, Jeffers 1, Riley Dunham 1; Digs – Brynn Dunham 8, Wilt 11, Molly Kruse 2, Reynolds 1, Cover 1; Assists – Shelby Wilt 37, Steele 4, Albers 3, Jeffers 1.