By DARIN ALLRED
Register Sports Editor
LINDSAY — Two of the area’s best high school volleyball teams met in Lindsay Tuesday, but it was the Lindsay Lady Knights who showed why they are ranked No. 3 in the state.
Lindsay dominated their match with Whitesboro from start to finish, defeating the Lady Cats 25-15, 25-13, 25-20.
The Lady Knights (7-5 overall) got going early in the first game as Taylor Atkins served four points including two aces to put Lindsay on top 5-0. Good serving by Jill Schuessler and a pair of kills by Kortney Beebe kept Whitesboro (6-3 overall) close, but the Lady Knights continued to pull away as Jessica Thurman served a pair of points including an ace and Jordan Fleitman and Kaylee Murphree both registered kills at the net to put Lindsay ahead 11-4.
The teams traded sideouts for a while except for one ace by Courtney Davis that brought the Lady Cats within five (13-8). It was still a five-point game (16-11) when the Lady Knights got a sideout and Thurman came to serve again. Lindsay then rolled off five-straight points that included an ace by Thurman and a tip by setter Brenna Mlinar that gave the Knights a commanding 22-11 lead.
Down the stretch, Murphree had another kill and Alyx Ethington served the last two points including an ace to give Lindsay a 25-15 win in game one.
Whitesboro got an early 2-0 lead in the second game thanks to the serving of Schuessler, but again it was the serving of Atkins that helped Lindsay get back on top. The sophomore had two-straight aces and served four points to put the Lady Knights up 5-2.
The Lady Cats came back to tie things up behind the serving of Beebe and a tip at the net by Davis, but Lindsay took complete control of the game when Martin came to serve. The senior served seven-straight points including two aces. Murphree added a tip at the net and Allison Metzler had a kill as the Lady Knights went up 13-5.
Becca Winter registered a kill to finally give Whitesboro a sideout, but they couldn’t get any offense going. Murphree controlled the net on the next two points with a block and a tip and Ethington served six-straight points including two aces as the Lady Knights took a 21-7 lead. The Lady Cats tried to battle back as Logan Tallent served four-straight points that included kills by Jennifer Williams and Beebe, but Lindsay finally got a sideout and won the final two points to take a 25-13 game-two win.
Game three was closer throughout. Fleitman, Murphree and Martin all had early kills for Lindsay, while Winter and Schuessler each had kills for Whitesboro and the game was tied 8-8.
Mlinar served an ace to put Lindsay ahead 10-8, but Tallent came back to serve a pair of points including an ace to make it 11-11.
The Lady Knights again used good serving from Atkins to take control. She had an ace to put Lindsay up 15-11, a lead they would never give up. Martin added an ace and Murphree had a kill as the Lady Knights went up 18-13, but Whitesboro battled back behind the serving of Taylor Ezzell who had an ace to pull the Lady Cats within one (18-17).
But Lindsay made the plays down the stretch. Ethington had another ace, Murphree had a pair of kills, Martin had a tip and Mlinar served up an ace as the Lady Knights took the third game 25-20.
For Lindsay, Mlinar finished with 16 assists, 7 digs and 2 aces; Murphree had 9 kills, 2 blocks and 3 digs; Atkins had 5 aces and 8 digs; Martin had 7 kills, 4 blocks, 8 digs and 3 aces; Fleitman had 3 kills, 3 blocks and 3 digs; Ethington had 4 aces and 2 digs; Metzler had 2 kills and 2 digs; and Thurman had 2 aces and 2 digs.
For Whitesboro, Beebe had 6 kills, 6 digs and 3 blocks; Winter had 4 kills and 3 digs; Davis had 2 kills, 1 ace and 1 block; Schuessler had 1 kill and 7 digs; Williams had 1 kill, 1 dig and 2 blocks; Tallent had 8 assists and 4 digs; Ezzel had 6 assists and 2 aces; Krista Hitt had 5 digs and Ashley Kirby added 1 kill.
“We did not show up to play tonight,” Whitesboro head coach Kelly Cherry said. “Lindsay is a good team and has many good players. I feel like we are too but we didn’t compete tonight. When you have one player off her game, you can make adjustments. But when all of them are off their game, there’s not a lot you can do. We couldn’t get a pass and are still missing too many serves. The way we played tonight, I’m not sure we could have competed with any team so it’s worse when you have to play a good one on a day like this. It definitely gives us a lot to work on.”
Lindsay will compete in the Class A Showdown tournament in Bronte this weekend. Whitesboro will host Pilot Point Friday at 5 p.m.
In the junior varsity match, Whitesboro defeated Lindsay 25-12, 25-18. In the freshman match, the Lady Cats beat the Lady Knights 25-16, 25-7.
By DARIN ALLRED