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Summer Creek sets its sights on district title

September 30, 2018

Summer Creek right-side hitter Courtney Bates could feel the energy level was down with her team Tuesday night.

The Lady Bulldogs were down two sets to Pasadena Memorial and were on the verge of being swept by the Lady Mavericks in the third set.

Bates and the Lady Bulldogs had to find a solution fast in order to keep their four-game District 22-6A winning streak intact.

The Lady Bulldogs rallied to win the next three sets to win a five-set thriller 14-25. 22-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-9 and extend their district winning streak to five games.

“I think in the first two sets there was no energy,” said Bates, who serves as the team’s senior captain. “You always have to bring your energy when you play volleyball. We knew that our second place in district was at stake and we didn’t want to lose. We fought with everything we had to get back and we came together to get the win.”

Summer Creek (19-17, 8-1) was back on the practice court Wednesday during an athletic period to prepare for Dobie at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Longhorn gym.

Lady Bulldogs head coach Sarah Aguilar reflected on her teams comeback win against the Lady Mavericks.

“I felt like Memorial was on top of their game the first two sets and we were not,” said Aguilar, who is in her second season with the Lady Bulldogs. “It was pure will and things started clicking for us to rally back in the third set. I think that Memorial’s defense caught us off-guard. They dug a lot of balls and we had to answer with some bigger kills and that’s the momentum that drove us. We ended with a couple big kills, good serves and hard hits.”

Bates finished with 10 kills, one dig and one block for the Lady Bulldogs.

Summer Creek had high expectation coming into this year and sit at second place in the district standings looking up to school district rival Kingwood (13-12, 9-0) in first place.

“We want to be district champions and that’s still our goal,” Bates said. “I think of confidence is high right now and we’re having a really good season so far. We have been working hard all year. There’s still more that we have to work on, but we still have a chance to win district.”

Aguilar and the Lady Bulldogs finished in fifth place last season and missed the playoffs.

Now, Summer Creek is looking to get in the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

“It feels really good to be in second place,” Aguilar said. “We have a close nit group with five seniors and a lot of experience. We’re really excited to take on Dobie and of course Kingwood again. When we play our best I fell like we can beat anybody. We just have to be consistent when we’re on the floor.”

Kendall Dutton added added 20 kills, two aces, one block and 13 digs for the Lady Bulldogs.

The senior outside hitter wants to see her team perform at practice so that when the Lady Bulldogs step on the floor for a match, it will be easier to play.

“In practice were doing a lot of drills that are blocking and defense,” Dutton said. “We’re working hard at practice and want to keep winning every game that we can. Everyone is on board and knows the seriousness of this season. We’re having a great year.”

Freshman setter Jozie Dhayer had 34 assists and nine digs for the Lady Bulldogs.

“For a freshman, she has been doing a great job setting our hitters up,” Bates said. “Our chemistry has been great with our setters and we continue to work on that at practice.”

The Lady Bulldogs defeated Dobie 3-1 in the first part of district play and will be looking to do get another victory on Friday.

“They have a really good outside hitter in Taylor Pleasants,” Aguilar said. “It was a battle the first time we played them and it’s going to be another battle on Friday. We just have to play defense and our game and we should be fine.”

marcus.gutierrez@chron.com

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