Lady Elks win Bev Ball Classic title
A year ago, Boerne denied Burleson’s volleyball team the championship at Abilene’s Bev Ball Classic.
Saturday afternoon, Krum tried to play the spoiler at the same event but the Lady Bobcats weren’t up to the task as the Lady Elks claimed the Gold Bracket title in three games, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23.
Krum held a 22-17 lead in the third game but the Lady Elks roared back to win the game much to the pleasure of coach D’Anna Newton.
“I was impressed with how we played and the way we fought back after losing that first set to Krum,” Newton said.
The championship game was the only one that went three games during the Lady Elks tournament run.
“We were always in the hole against Krum,” Newton said. “We’d fight our way out and then be down another two points.”
Junior outside hitter Emily Rich, who was named the tournament’s MVP, had a game-high 19 kills and a pair of aces against Krum. For the tournament, Rich finished with 58 kills, five blocks, and 10 aces.
“She was very deserving of the award,” Newton said. “Towards the end of the games, if I knew we were doing okay, I’d sit her and let some other girls get some experience. I want her to rest as much as possible. We still have a lot of games ahead of us.”
Junior setter Mia Smalls garnered all-tournament honors. Smalls completed the tournament with 131 assists, 34 digs, and five aces.
“Mia was a great constant for us the whole weekend,” Newton said. “She’s the quarterback of our team. She does it all just like Emily.”
To reach the title game, the Lady Elks, who finished first in Friday’s pool play, defeated Lubbock Coronado, 25-17, 25-17, and Amarillo Bushland, 27-25, 25-23.
Newton said Bushland gave her squad a solid test.
Burleson won all four pool play games on Friday.
The Lady Elks topped Clyde, 25-11, 25-16; defeated Water Valley, 25-14, 25-7; downed Abilene Wylie, 25-22, 25-20 and beat Lubbock Monterey, 27-25, 25-18.
“It was a solid effort from everyone all around this weekend,” Newton said. “The pool games weren’t all easy for us. Lubbock Monterrey and Wylie gave us runs.”
Newton praised the play of sophomore libero Emma Dustin and junior defensive specialist Kylah Shumate.
“I was impressed with how Kylah handled things out there,” Newton said. “She played awesome for us.”
Burleson went into Tuesday night’s non-district game with Weatherford sporting an 8-0 record and ranked fifth in Class 5A in the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association Poll.
Things didn’t go well for the Lady Elks as they lost to the Lady Roos in five games, 21-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-22, 15-13.
The Lady Elks open play today at the Granbury Tournament with pool play games against Stephenville, Socorro Eastlake, and Prestonwood Christian.
Burleson plays at Kennedale Tuesday night.