Bulldogs fight hard, but fall to Grand Saline

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After the national anthem and a moment of silence for lost classmate Stephen Love, the Quitman Lady Bulldogs easily dismantled Dallas A+ Academy in straight sets of 25-7, 25-12, 25-7 last Monday.

It was a genuine team effort with great sets from Cammie Hicks and powerful kills from Madalyn Spears, Kaci Raley, Molly Tanner, Jentri Jackson and Julia Simpkins. There was also great backcourt play from Abby Dobbs, who also added a kill to her stats.

In game one, Tanner served the first nine serves as the Lady Bulldogs darted to an early 9-0 before the Lady Knights could get on the scoreboard. Dobbs’ kill made it a 10-1 game and a strong Raley kill made it 12-2. A+ made a short run to cut the score to 12-6, but Quitman ran off the next 12 points with Raley serving to gain a 23-6 advantage. The first game ended on a powerful serve by Spears to make it 25-7.

In game two, A+ took an early 5-4 lead, the only lead of the entire match by the Lady Knights. A Spears kill made it a 5-5 game and Simpkins added a kill to give Quitman a 9-5 lead. Raley got a perfect short set from Hicks and had a “slam dunk” kill at the net to make it a 13-7 Quitman lead. After a Jackson kill, Spears scored another ace, and Hicks had a perfectly placed shot fall in beyond the net in front of the back line.

With Quitman ahead 21-9 Raley and Hicks had a picture-perfect block for a score to put the game out of reach with a 22-9 lead. Spears and Raley ended the contest with a pair of resounding kills to give Quitman the 25-12 victory.

In game three, Raley had a pair of blocks which turned into a score and Tanner had an ace to give Quitman a 3-0 lead. Quitman would lead by as much as 22-4 on their way to the 25-7 final score.

“I am so proud of these young ladies.  They have had an emotional week so far and have been able to channel that into their play. I have told them that this is what they have been working so hard for, so they need to enjoy it and do their best,” Head Coach Ashlee Gambill noted. “Our next round is going to be more difficult for sure. I believe when we play good defense and work together, we are a hard team to beat. We have a very tough region, but I know we are one of the reasons it is tough!”

For the bi-district match, Jackson had 10 digs, three kills, one ace; Simpkins four kills, one assist; Spears eight digs, 11 kills, three aces; Kaci Raley had 14 digs, 10 kills, four aces, one assist, two blocks; Molly Tanner had seven digs, nine kills, four aces; Hicks four digs, two kills, two aces, 36 assists and Abby Dobbs has seven digs, one kill, one ace, one assist.

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