hhs vball

Kristi Tydlacka goes to the floor to return a ball during Huntsville's dramatic district win over Montgomery. The Lady Hornets are 2-1 in district 18-4A play.

Facing another heartbreaking loss, the Lady Hornets dug deep Tuesday night and defeated Montgomery in a five-game District 18-4A volleyball marathon.

Huntsville beat the Lady Bears 20-25, 25-15, 25-17, 16-25, 15-10.

“All of our hearts were in it,” senior setter Kristi Tydlacka said. “We all wanted to get this because Montgomery was 2-0 coming in. Now we’re both 2-1, so all of us are really happy.

“We all really pushed for this.”

Last week, the Lady Hornets dropped their district opener in Brenham, losing a similar five-game match. This time, many of Huntsville’s 14 players stepped up and contributed in the final game, which ended when senior Sarah Hazlewood bumped the ball over the net into an open spot on the Montgomery side.

Before that, junior Ishara McAdams knocked down two of her five kills in the fifth game, Heather Wilson served up a key ace, Hazlewood and sophomore Sara Vaughn combined for a block, while Black and Wilson teamed for another stuff.

Leading 12-10, Tydlacka hit Black with a nifty backward set, and Black took care of the rest, nailing the floor with a hard spike and giving Huntsville a three-point advantage. Junior Kelsie Thaler came off the bench and served up an ace before Hazlewood put a fitting cap on the match with her 15th kill.

Huntsville improved to 2-1 in District 18-4A play and 13-9 overall, while Montgomery dropped to 2-1 in district and 17-4 on the season.

“We were fixing to dig ourselves into a big hole,” Huntsville coach Debbie Hightower said after the match, which stretched nearly two hours. “It was kind of like over in Brenham the other night. They just flat-out beat us in the first game, but we fought back. When you go five games, anything can happen.

“We knew that it was going to be tight. Montgomery’s got a good record and they’ve won every tournament they’ve been in this season. We knew it was going to be tough, and we knew they’d have a lot of confidence coming in here.”

The Lady Hornets have loads of confidence, too. After losing the first game, Hazlewood, Black and Tydlacka lifted up their teammates with solid hitting and even better blocking. That led to an easy win in game two.

Capitalizing on a few Montgomery mistakes, Huntsville jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the third game, only to be threatened slightly late in that contest. With the Lady Hornets leading 21-9, the Bears went on a 7-1 run before Huntsville closed it out and took a 2-1 lead.

With a chance to close out coach Amy Haberern’s feisty Montgomery squad, the Lady Hornets came unglued midway through game four. On the strength of the hitting of Stacy Phillips and Amanda Allen, the Lady Bears went on a 10-2 roll and took control of that game.

The Lady Hornets quickly regrouped to take game five.

“When the chips were down, you couldn’t have asked for a better front line,” Hightower said. “We had Sarah (Hazlewood), Heather and Kristi, so we had three seniors with a lot of experience up there. Who better to be on the front line than three seniors who have been on varsity for three years.

“Kelsie Thaler also had a huge ace for us. Do you know how stressful that was for her? She comes through 99 percent of the time, so I put her in there. She did a great job serving.”

In addition to Hazlewood’s 15 kills, Black had eight spikes, Wilson added seven, McAdams scored five and Vaughn and Tydlacka added four kills each. Hazlewood had seven blocks, Black added six, Wilson and Tydlacka threw in four blocks each, while McAdams and Vaughn got their hands on two stuffs apiece.

Tydlacka passed out 31 assists. Vaughn and Wilson combined for 35 digs, while Sam Ullrich dug up 14 more Montgomery hits. Hazlewood led HHS with four aces.

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