Sporting A Thought
Brad Keith Sports Editor
They may be called the Honeybees, but theyíre more like killer bees when the ballís in play.
Stephenville has bumped, set and hit its way back into the Class 4A volleyball playoffs with a stout District 8-4A mark of 11-2.
Sure, Aledo got theirs. They picked up two wins at the Beesí expense. But after Stephenville took a 2-0 advantage before dropping three straight sets in Aledo, I like the chances of an upset at a neutral location in the post season.
But theyíre only 21-10, right? Sure, but several of the losses came to 5A teams, some of them perennial state powers.
There was Arlington Martin, Abilene and Smithson Valley just to name a few. And the Bees, for the most part, were competitive against these teams.
I donít know of any 4A teams in the region Stephenville canít defeat on a given night. It may require an upset, but anything is possible when good teams meet in a single elimination tournament.
After Stephenville disposes of Cleburne Friday, which they should, the Bees will be 22-10 overall, and will complete their district mark at 12-2. Any team must respect that in a potential playoff match-up.
And the match-ups will often lean in the Beesí favor. Sage Lasater has become a top-of-the-line defender. Against Joshua, with the Owls putting full effort into burying Lasater in the corners, she stepped up with 29 digs - in just three sets. Thatís 9.7 digs per game.
The Bees have a dominant tandem at the net where MaKayla Elliott and Claire Goodman are constantly on the attack.
Elliott is a jack-of-all trades, with the ability to score consistently with the block, hit, and even the serve. She gave Everman fits Tuesday, serving out with a long run in a 25-4 Honeybee win in game four to seal the deal in a 3-1 win.
Goodman coming from the outside is the perfect compliment to Elliott in the middle. The senior posted 21 kills against Joshua, averaging seven per game - just less than one-third of the Beesí total scoring in the three-game sweep.
The setter position is still a strength for this team, as well. Allison Snow has the ability to unleash 40-plus assists consistently, but the combination of her and sophomore Brianna Bledsoe has produced very near equal, if not better results.
But the best thing about these Bees is their sense of competitiveness.
Remember the 7-0 run against Crowley when the Bees trailed 23-18 and came back to win the third set and sweep the Lady Eagles?
Thatís the type of killer instinct and hatred of losing that will keep these Bees alive in the post season.
Believe it. Even an upset of Aledo down the road is not out of the question.