Volleyball: Alvord falters in bi-district loss to Valley View

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, November 1, 2017
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The Alvord Lady Bulldogs couldn’t have asked for a better start Monday night.

Including a pair of aces by Kendall Connolly, Alvord scored the match’s first six points to jump on Valley View early in the Class 2A Region II bi-district match.

HANDING OUT AN ASSISTS – Alvord’s Kendall Connolly passes the ball during the Lady Bulldogs’ loss to Valley View Monday. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

But as quickly as it was built, the Alvord lead vanished. Valley View rallied with an 8-2 closing run to steal the opening set and went on to sweep the playoff match in three games (25-22, 25-14, 25-23) at the University of North Texas.

“We were on the go and then it just went away. Mental mistakes have affected us all year, and they affected us again tonight,” said Alvord coach Catherine Kelly. “Strengthwise, I think we’re the better team when we’re on.”

The loss ended the Lady Bulldogs’ season at 16-18. It was Alvord’s second playoff appearance in only its second year of varsity play since reviving the program.

“I’m proud of them. My favorite part is they are all coming back next year,” Kelly said. “That’s their senior year. I hope they are ready. We want to win district next year. That’s our goal and our plan.”

After Alvord built the 6-0 lead, Valley View fought back behind middle blocker Kelci Nanney, who had three of her six kills in the opening set. Valley View tied the game at 22 on a shot by Jenna Sutherland and took the set three points later.

Alvord appeared staggered after dropping the first set as Valley View built a 12-6 lead in the second. Alvord rallied to get within one before Valley View went on a 12-2 run to put a 2-0 stranglehold on the match.

“We’ve struggled in the second set all year,” Kelly said. “I don’t know what it is. The second set has always been our rough patch. But we always seem to fight back.”

Alvord went up 10-7 in the third set with a Kinly Walker kill. Walker buried six of her nine kills in the third game.

The two teams traded the lead two more times before Valley View reached match point. Christina Thomas’ seventh kill brought Alvord within one before a service error ended the match and the Lady Bulldogs’ season.

“We lost a little hope and didn’t play our best game,” Thomas said. “We’re capable of doing way better. Next year, we are going to do it. The whole team is coming back.”

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