Career win No. 1 proved memorable for new Northwest coach Amy Gaston Monday night.
After winning the first two sets, Gaston’s Lady Texans dropped two straight to Birdville before rallying in the fifth set to take the match. Northwest won 25-13, 25-19, 20-25, 17-25, 15-12 at Texan Gym.
“I’m proud of how we came out the fifth set,” Gaston said. “We pulled together and made plays. That’s not easy, to come back after losing two straight.”
Northwest fell behind 7-3 in the fifth game before stemming the tide to tie the set at 7. The Lady Texans took advantage of Birdville hitting errors to take the lead. Camryn Berryhill then buried a kill to put Northwest ahead for good at 12-11. She also knocked down match point at 14-12.
“Putting the ball down gets everyone going,” Berryhill said.
“We were all nervous, then the student section got into it and got us going.”
Berryhill finished with 10 kills – including the pair in the fifth set.
“Camryn is one of those kids who has more potential than she realizes. When she realizes it, she’ll be dangerous,” Gaston said.
After Berryhill put Northwest at match point, Ashley Holt delivered the final blow with one of her six kills.
Northwest looked like it would make Gaston’s debut a quick night through two games. Behind a strong offensive start by Tessa Harfield, the Lady Texans won game one by 12 points, ending on a 16-7 run. Harfield put down seven of her 15 kills in the opening game.
Northwest built a 13-6 lead in game two on a kill by Berryhill. Birdville rallied to get to within two, 20-18. Kills from Holt, sandwiched around one from Harfield, spurred a 5-1 run to end the set.
Down two sets, Birdville began aggressively blocking at the net with Gabby Nelson and McKenna Selby. Nelson made five blocks for kills. Selby added one.
Nelson led Birdville with 13 kills. Kyndall Brown added 10.
Birdville jumped out to a 9-5 lead in game three. Northwest fought back to tie it at 17 but Nelson’s pair of kills down the stretch spurred a 5-1 closing for Birdville.
Three kills from Selby around Nelson’s stuff block spurred a 7-0 run for Birdville to put them up 17-10 in game four. Birdville tied the match at two with the eight-point win.
Northwest managed only three kills in game four.
“Birdville played well. You have to give them credit. They made adjustments,” Gaston said. “We’re going to meet opponents that are going to make changes.”
But the Lady Texans were able to make the adjustments themselves in the fifth game to get the offense going and give Gaston her first win.