Lady Stangs lose in opener

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

Stunned by an early jolt when their junior setter Elli Lehnert was forced out by injury, the Sweetwater volleyball team was able to eventually adjust against Denver City after a disastrous start and tie the teams’ season-opening match at 1-all at Mustang Gym with a 25-22 win in Game 2.
But it was downhill from there as the Lady Mustangs fell to Denver City by a 3-1 count.
The Fillies rallied to close out the match, pulling out a 25-19 win in Game 3 and 25-12 in the finale. The latter was the same score Denver City won by to begin the match after jumping out to an overwhelming early lead, while the Lady Mustangs were adjusting to Lehnert’s sudden absence and a new 5-1, or one setter, rotation instead of the 6-2 they had used.
After Lehnert's injury, Sweetwater struggled for awhile and fell behind by as many as 17 points in losing Game 1. But then it rallied, and won the last two points of the second game to even the match and force Denver City to regroup briefly.
“We came back and played well in the second game” said head coach Morgan Doyle, whose team returns to Mustang Gym to host Brownwood — now a non-district opponent — at 6 p.m. today. “We just have to continue to make adjustments now that we’re running a 5-1 instead of a 6-2.”
Top individual performers for Sweetwater were Shavie Green with 10 kills, five blocks and one dig; Hannah Mobley with seven kills and 15 digs; Mia Valdez with 13 assists, five digs, one kill and two aces; and Bri Moriel with 13 digs.
Denver City won the sub-varsity matches 25-9, 23-25, 25-18 and 28-26, 25-13. Claire Paty and My’esha Green were outstanding players for Sweetwater.

Pictured: Sweetwater's Hannah Mobley (5) hits a return in Monday's match with Denver City.
Photo by Kevin Wright