Leon 3 – Iola 1
The Lady Cougars wrapped up the District 22 2A volleyball title on Friday, October 19 by defeating the Iola Lady Bulldogs in front of a large crowd of fans at Leon gym. The night was designated as Leon’s Homecoming and the only game in town was volleyball. The heavy rains that moved into the area over the last couple of weeks made the normal homecoming celebration at the Friday night football game impossible. School officials decided to reschedule and move the football game against Kerens to Saturday to a neutral site and the artificial turf of Madisonville High School. The Homecoming Queen and Court were presented between the varsity and junior varsity volleyball games, and while it may not have been what the young ladies would have preferred, they were all beautiful and dry, in the junior high gym.
As for THE GAME, Leon and Iola fought a grueling 4 set match with scores, in some cases, going well beyond the 25 points needed to win a set. The Lady Bulldogs won the first set 31-29 in a game that saw no fewer than 11 lead changes. The early 4 pm game time may have kept some of the Iola fans from getting to the game for the first set, but the ones where were in the stands made their presence felt with thunderous applause. Iola coach Jamie McDougald’s team didn’t have much time to celebrate before the second set got underway. This time Leon took an early lead and won 25-19 without too much trouble. Sarah Grace Merry, Caroline Richmond and Tara Goolsby got big kills in the set. Maddie Thomas had some good serves with a couple of aces. Good defense by Raelyn Theiss, Thomas and Richmond contributed to the win. Leon won set 3 by the score of 25-15 by taking the lead and not giving it up.
The Lady Bulldogs put the previous losses behind them and came out determined to win the fourth set. They have a good group of hitters and play tough on defense. They should go deep into the playoffs.
Like the first set, the teams matched point for point early and Iola held the lead through the middle part of the set. Leon got even at 18 all and tried to pull away with hard hits and some big blocks by Richmond, Kassidy Cravey and Alee Pervis. Good shallow sets by Jordan Robinson to Sarah Grace Merry were key to Leon’s success. Iola stayed within two points and tied at 23, 24, 25 and again at 26. Merry got the next kill and Robinson blocked the next Iola shot for the winner, 28-26.
It was a great game for Leon as they stay undefeated with one game left on the schedule. Centerville will visit Leon on Tuesday, October 23. Depending on what happens in that game, the Lady Cougars will have at least a one game advantage over the other teams in the district. Leon will play a warm-up game at Leon against the Mexia Lady Blackcats next Friday before the Bi-District games begin on October 29-30.
Mexia is currently ranked 8th by TGCA in 4A Texas schools.
Congratulations to the Lady Cougars for winning another District title.