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ET Volleyball: Beckville sweeps Winona, returns to regional tourney

George Whitley

By George Whitley
Nov. 7, 2017 at 10:22 p.m.

For the sixth consecutive season, Beckville's Ladycats are headed back to the regional volleyball tournament.

A balanced power attack paced Class 3A's top-ranked Ladycats as they rolled to a 25-13, 25-20, 25-13 straight set sweep of the Winona Ladycats Tuesday at LeTourneau University's Solheim Arena.

Beckville (40-0) advances to face Gunter Friday at Midlothian with first serve at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

The victory was twice as nice for Ladycat coach Cherry Downs, who notched her 200th career win on the volleyball court.

"I knew I was getting pretty close to 200 wins, but never dreamed it would be this season," said Downs. "It was a huge surprise to get there this season and the thought of a having a perfect season to this point is just astounding."

Senior Riley Seegers led Beckville with nine kills. Fellow seniors Hannah Humphries and Jordan Tondreau each added eight.

Junior Payton Jones wound up with seven and Miranda Mize added six.

"This wasn't our cleanest game. We struggled a little bit in serve receive, definitely in game two. This gym was filled. It was intense and good for us," said Downs.

"It was good to get this one under our belt. We know it'll a bigger crowd Friday and hopefully Saturday. A good game for us."

Serving wasn't a problem for Beckville in the decisive third set. Tondreau stepped to the line with a 9-6 lead after she lasered a kill shot off a Kinley Pepper feed.

After the dust had finally settled, Tondreau served up nine unanswered as Beckville started pulling away.

Humphries had three of her terminations in the 9-0 run, while Mize found the back corner with a kill and Tondreau tallied an ace.

Winona (32-7), coached by former Pine Tree standout Tasha Jacobs, was paced in a losing cause by seniors Nichole Garrett's eight kills and Makayla Champion's half dozen.

Pepper, who managed 19 digs and 39 assists, served Beckville to a quick 6-2 lead in the opening set. She dished out perfect sets for kills from Seegers, Tondreau and Jones in the process.

Mize came away with a big swing that found the floor off a Jones serve at 13-4.

Winona got a little momentum when junior Madalin Reed had three straight winners, including back-to-back aces at 11-21.

Seegers eventually broke and served to match point. It was there Mize countered a block off a Tondreau kill attempt with a set-clinching slam.

Winona had its most competitive set in the second. The other Ladycats forged four ties at 7, 8, 14 and 15. But each time Beckville had an answer.

After a Garrett kill drew set two square at 15-all, Seegers managed a break. Mize took full advantage of a free ball with a kill shot at 20-16.

Back-to-back Tondreau kills on Pepper feeds made it 22-18. Pepper would then make a cross net pass to Humphries for a thunderous slam at 23-19.

Champion slipped in a dump shot to break the Beckville serve at 20-24. Mize, as she did in the opening set, had the clinching kill for a 2-0 lead.

Beckville, only pushed to four sets twice this season, made sure of the sweep when Tondreau caught heat at the stripe in the third.

Senior libero Courtlyn Nail came away with 14 digs and a couple aces. Freshman Allison Baker had three digs and senior Baley McGuire two.

(Follow George Whitley on Twitter: @GPigskinprof)



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