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    Burleson’s Emily Rich goes up for an attack as Centennial’s Lauren Foster, left, and Maddie Hutchins prepare for a block during a District 5-5A match Friday. The Lady Elks sweep the Lady Spartans. BURLESON STAR/MICHELLE PARSONS

Lady Elks stay in tie for first place

MANSFIELD­ — Trips to Mansfield in District 5-5A play have been interesting, to say the least for Burleson’s volleyball team.

Tuesday night’s visit to Mansfield Timberview was no exception.

After winning the opening game with relative ease, the Lady Elks found themselves in a tussle with the Lady Wolves.

The Lady Elks were able to come out on top in four games besting Timberview, 25-16, 26-24, 25-14, 25-22, to retain a share of first place.

“Timberview is a good team,” Burleson coach D’Anna Newton said. “They fought and gave us a run for our money. I’m just glad we were able to bounce back from game two. Things were tight in the fourth game but we were able to finish it.”

Burleson (26-9, 9-1) stayed in a tie with Granbury. The win was the Lady Elks ninth consecutive in district play. Burleson continues its extended road trip with two more road games. The Lady Elks play Friday at Crowley and travel to Everman Tuesday night.

The looks on the Lady Elks faces as they left their locker room following Newton’s post-game talk said everything about the match Tuesday night. There were no smiles and none of the usual post-game chatting.

Part of that might have been because of Newton’s post-game chat with them.

“I think at times we were just going through the motions,” Newton said. “That’s what I just got through talking about to them that we have to be able to finish ball games no matter who is on the court. Because teams like Timberview will come and beat you if you don’t do that.”

After the Lady Elks rolled to a relatively easy win in game 1 thanks to the play of Emily Rich and Emily White, they stumbled losing the second game in a tightly fought tilt.

Burleson rebounded winning the next two to take the match.

“I think we let a few little changes go to our heads,” Newton said. “We thought the game was over and before we knew it we were digging ourselves out of a hole. Game two hit us for a loop.”

Ellie Strebeck led the Lady Elks with 15 kills. Rich had 14 kills to go along with 22 digs and White finished with seven kills and three blocks.

Mia Smalls registered 31 assists while Emma Dustin finished with a 26 digs.

Lady Spartans fall to Granbury

Things didn’t go well for Centennial Tuesday night against district co-leader Granbury.

The Lady Spartans showed some heart but the Lady Pirates came away with a 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 win at Centennial.

Centennial (8-23, 2-8) got off to a fast start in the opening game pulling ahead 11-3 but then allowed nine points to let all that good work slip away.

“We started off the first game really well.” Centennial coach Julie Williams said. “We did battle back and were leading right up till the end. The girls need to learn how to finish games. We have to be mentally tough. The second and third games were very similar to the first. I feel like we made some crucial errors and that just kills your momentum.”

The Lady Spartans host Everman Friday and play at Mansfield Timberview Tuesday.

Lady Elks sweep Lady Spartans

Burleson found itself in a battle Friday night with arch-rival Centennial.

The Lady Spartans came out playing with enthusiasm in the opening game but they couldn’t keep the momentum going as they lost to the Lady Elks, 25-21, 25-10, 25-22, at Burleson.

“Centennial came out to play,” Newton said. “It’s harder in the second half of district because they have already played you and they have watched film on you. So they know your tendencies.”

The Lady Spartans built an 11-7 lead in the first game only to see it evaporate as the Lady Elks chipped away at the advantage.

Trailing 18-20, Centennial reeled off three consecutive points to take a 21-20 lead.

White gave the Lady Elks the lead back with a pair of points and Rich finished out the game with a kill.

“I feel like we should of won the first game,” Williams said. “I think if we had done that then the second game and the rest of the match would have been different. We have to do a better job of giving effort the entire match. We watch to many balls hit the floor and those are opportunities we could use to score points. In this district we have to take advantage and try to win every point. 

Which we haven’t done consistently. When we are giving effort we play much better. They can be as good as they want to be when we play up to our potential.”

The Lady Elks won the next two games to complete the sweep. Burleson has won three straight over Centennial.

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