LORENA — The Lorena Lady Leopards volleyball team seems to be gaining momentum as it charges through District 18-4A.
The Lady Leopards, ranked 17th in the state as of Tuesday morning, flexed their muscles with a straight-sets victory over Gatesville on Tuesday night at the Lorena High School gymnasium.
Lorena outside hitter Kenzie Tuyo put down authoritative kills to finish the second and third games as the Lady Leopards claimed a 25-16, 25-15, 25-18 victory.
The Lady Leopards (28-13, 7-0 in 18-4A) never trailed after the second point of any of the three games, maintaining sharp focus and continually stretching out commanding leads.
“We just made small goals, increments of five,” Lorena coach Kari Sowders said. “Let’s make sure we’re taking care of our side of the floor because that’s really all we can do. We have to refocus on that sometimes because it’s such a long game.”
Tuyo started with three kills and a block on the opening game and took off from there.
She hammered kills for four straight points in the second game as the Lady Leopards surged to a 6-2 lead and never looked back.
Tuyo finished with a match-high 14 kills. Lorena setter Kynlee Bartosh kept feeding the entire Lady Leopard front line and finished with more than 15 assists.
Gatesville’s Maci Matthews led the Lady Hornets with seven kills and Sage Carson added five. But Gatesville couldn’t consistently get balls past Lorena’s stingy defense.
“I think we’ve got people in the right places at the right times and we do a whole lot of game planning,” Sowders said. “We start with our block, it sets us up and then our defense is just one of our big reasons why we’re able to control the ball so well.”
Lorena grabbed an early four-point lead in the third game. But then Gatesville closed the gap to a single point at 9-8 as Matthews had back-to-back kills.
Lady Leopards outside hitter Makayla Uptmor answered with a kill on an assist from Bartosh to preserve the lead. Then Lorena scored 8 of the next 10 points to establish an 18-10 margin.
Lorena refused to let Gatesville take away the momentum after that as the Lady Leopards closed out the match.
Midway 3, Shoemaker 0
KILLEEN — The Pantherettes handled their business in defeating the Grey Wolves, 25-14, 25-22, 25-15.
Midway already had a playoff spot clinched, but the win helps the Pantherettes (29-14 overall, 12-1 in district) keep pace with Copperas Cove atop the league standings. Midway defeated Cove in five sets on Sept. 11 on the road. The teams will meet again on Friday at Midway at 5:30 p.m., in a match that will likely determine the district champion. (The teams will still have three matches to play thereafter.)
Moody 3, Rosebud-Lott 0
MOODY — Canyon Hughes tagged 12 kills as district-leading Moody powered past Rosebud-Lott, 25-21, 25-18, 25-15.
Senior Allison Lantz contributed 10 kills for the Bearcats (18-4 overall, 9-1 in 16-2A), while Jaylah Good picked up nine kills and a pair of service aces. The Bearcats share the district lead with Bremond, a 3-0 winner over Bruceville-Eddy on Tuesday.
Temple 3, Waco High 0
TEMPLE — The Wildcats rode a strong hitting game from Julianna Torres to a rapid-fire win over their 12-6A rival Waco High, 25-11, 25-10, 25-10.
Valley Mills 3, Rapoport 0
The Lady Eagles breezed to another district win, 25-15, 25-15, 25-8, to stay unbeaten in District 14-2A. Valley Mills is 18-15 overall and 6-0 in district play.