18-19 Volleyball Season Ends with 4-17 Record

Olivia Johnson, Sports Editor and Yearbook Editor-In-Chief

The Center Lady Riders faced the Mexia Lady Cats in a first round playoff game in the Rusk Coliseum on Tuesday, October 30th and fell short 0-3.

“When we made it to the playoffs, we proved all of our doubters wrong,” senior Keyodric Gardner said.

Unstoppable spikes in the first game gave the Riders a lead of 9-6. Mexia returned these spikes with many tips which resulted in dive plays by senior Katelyn Boton. Head Coach Karrie Hargrave called a time out with the score 15-14 to let her players catch a breath after nonstop game play. After the time out, the game turned away from the Riders’ favor. The Mexica Lady Cats pulled ahead 18-25 to finish the first match.

“I played even harder because when it’s a playoff game, if you lose, it’s over. There isn’t a second chance,” senior Katelyn Bolton said. “As a senior I took every single play like it could of been my last.”

The Rider momentum was lost in the second match. Mexia lead  3-11 in what seemed to be seconds of gameplay. Sophomore Jakayla Parks slammed the ball into the Mexia front line making the score 6-16. A dive effort was given by junior Kalei LaRock. Despite her efforts, the dive bounced the ball out of bounds resulting in a score of 6-22. The amount of out balls drastically increased and was the cause of the second loss of 8-25.

“I knew I couldn’t reach the ball with just my arms so my reaction was to use my whole body,” LaRock said.

The Riders started the third match strong with 5 unbreakable serves by sophomore Makenzie Mireles giving the Riders a lead of 6-1. Mexia bounced back with impressive and powerful serves. senior Baylee Bressman broke an outstanding spike to prevent Mexia from catching up to the Riders. Along with Bressman, Parks and junior Jasmine Cooks had major hops to block spikes from the Lady Cat offense. The Lady Riders fought long and hard; however, their efforts fell short resulting in an end score of 22-25.

“It hurt to know that was my last time to step on the court and pump, set or spike,” senior Malaisha Cartwright explained, “but it felt good to play with the team one last time.”

The momentum and heart presented in their final game outshined any other game this season. The Lady Riders finished the 2018-2019 season with a record of 4-17.