Lady Elks’ Rich comes up big
The last time Burleson squared off with Cleburne, the Lady Elks were swept by the Lady Yellow Jackets in the first half of District 9-5A volleyball play.
Tuesday night, the Lady Elks got revenge defeated Cleburne at home, 26-24, 25-22, 25-20.
“We played really bad the first time we played them,” Burleson coach D’Anna Newton said. “I feel like my girls have improved so much. We worked really hard this week focusing on Cleburne. That was our mindset after the win on Friday. I think we did a really good job.”
The key for Lady Elks (16-7, 6-4), who is alone in fourth place, was the play of freshman outside hitter Emily Rich.
Burleson turned to Rich again and again and the freshman delivered with big hits. Rich finished the game with 19 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Ellie Strebeck had 13 kills and senior middle blocker Jailah Ivory finished with nine kills.
“Right now (Rich) is on her hitting, her passes, everything she does,” Newton said. “She is doing such a good job and I’m really proud of the way she performed tonight.”
With Cleburne leading 24-23 in Game 1, Rich knocked down a pair of kills and freshman setter Mia Smalls got the game-winning point with a pass across the net that fell between the Lady Jackets.
In Game 2, Burleson was able to keep ahead of Cleburne during the game pulled away late for a three-point win. In the third game, the Lady Elks finished off the match with a 6-1 run fueled by three kills from Rich, a block by the Burleson scoreboard that led to a point and match-clinching ace by Small.
Friday night, Burleson swept its way past Joshua, 25-20, 25-14, 25-1, to defend the home court.
Joshua is a good team, they are scrappy,” Newton said. “We played really well which was exciting. There are so many distractions with homecoming but my girls were able to get over that and finish.”
The Lady Elks play their next two matches on the road. Burleson plays Friday at Everman and Tuesday at Arlington Seguin. Four matches remain in district play.