Heavy hitting at the net led Stephenville to a pair of non-district wins over Abilene and Abilene Cooper in Gandy Gym Tuesday night, giving the Honeybees four victories in their last six matches to even their overall record at 7-7.
The Bees brought the heat up front, especially in the nightcap against Cooper when Christina Murphy had 14 kills and a .389 hitting percentage, Brooklyn Moody had nine kills and .360 and Kaylee Davis landed eight kills while hitting .357.
“That’s the first time in a while we’ve had three hit in the 300s,” said Stephenville head coach Fran Metzger, whose club swept Cooper 25-20, 25-19, 25-18 after taking down Abilene 25-21, 25-11, 25-17.
Davis, a junior middle blocker, keyed the win over Abilene with 15 kills on 28 sets with only three errors for a hitting percentage of .429.
“That means we’re passing pretty well or we wouldn’t be able to set it to the middle,” Metzger said.
Murphy posted double figures with 10 kills while hitting .300 against AHS, and also helped in setting up the finishing hits with 12 assists. Rachel Choate led in assists with 18, and the two teamed up for another big passing match against Cooper as Choate had 22 assists and Murphy added 19.
The Bees had an up and down night serving the ball, landing 10 aces against Abilene, but only four against Cooper.
Defensively, Stephenville was led by Kensie Colegrove with nine digs against Abilene and Macy Moncrief with eight against Cooper.
Metzger says she can already see the tough early-season schedule beginning to pay dividends for her team.
“The caliber of play in those tournaments (the Tournament of Champions in Duncanville and the Fraulein Volleyfest in New Braunfels) was so high, it pushed the girls to raise their play to the level of the competition,” she said. “I could see last night where that’s paying off.”
That said, the head coach knows there are still things the Bees need to work on.
“We’re playing good defense and we passed the ball and hit well last night,” she said, “but we still need to improve our blocking and get more consistent with our serves.”
Stephenville is idle on Friday and visits Cleburne on Tuesday.