Skye LaMendola Coppell

Coppell sophomore Skye LaMendola (7) goes up for a block attempt against Frisco Reedy senior right-side hitter Addison Corley during Saturday’s match at Coppell.

Moments after Sachse handed Coppell’s volleyball team its first loss of the young season – in straight sets, 25-18, 25-18, 25-21 – the Cowgirls were happy that they didn’t have to wait too long to shrug off that setback.

The Cowgirls’ front-row tandem of senior and Texas Tech commit Madison Gilliland and junior Haley Holz combined for 33 kills and 26 digs as Coppell defeated Frisco Reedy, 26-24, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, at Coppell Sports Arena on Saturday afternoon. Gilliland led all players in kills with 21 in addition to 14 digs, while Holz netted a triple-double with 12 kills, 12 digs and 19 assists.

“I was proud of how they responded in this match,” said Julie Price, Coppell head volleyball coach. “We played with grit and played more balanced offensively, which led to greater success.”

Reedy didn’t make it easy for Coppell (4-1).

The Lady Lions led for most of the first set.

Reedy’s serving played a big role as the Lady Lions spotted four of their five service aces during the game’s first 15 points. Sophomore Reese Miller recorded two aces within a three-point span as Reedy jumped out to a 10-5 lead.

Searching for a spark, Coppell got it from Gilliland. The senior middle blocker recorded two kills and one ace within a four-point span later in the first set to cut the deficit to 17-16.

Reedy (1-2) stretched the lead to 23-20 on the fourth kill of the first set by senior and St. Louis University commit Mak Hill. But, Coppell took advantage of a few unforced errors by Reedy to rally to win the first set.

In the second set, Reedy received four more kills from Hill as the Lady Lions used a late 10-2 run after Coppell lead 17-15 to tie the match at one set apiece. 

Coppell put together a complete team effort in the third set to cruise to a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, Reedy had Coppell on the ropes. A kill by sophomore Gracie Cagle put the Lady Lions in front 21-20. Coppell answered with two kills from Gilliland, a service ace from senior Beca Centeno and a kill by sophomore Reagan Engler to end the match.

Against Sachse, Coppell’s biggest challenge was attempting to minimize the efforts of the Lady Mustangs’ balanced attack and height of their players on the front row.

Sachse won that battle.

Five different Lady Mustangs recorded at least five kills in a three-set sweep over the previously undefeated Cowgirls.

Senior outside hitter Shaliyah Rhoden led the way with 15 blocks in addition to nine digs. Senior middle hitter Kayla Grant also reached double figures in kills with 10. Fellow senior Sydney Ross as well as freshman Favor Anyanwu tallied eight kills apiece while sophomore Macy Taylor chipped in five kills.

Senior setter Claire Romo dished out 40 assists and added nine digs.

“She does a really good job of reading defenses,” Sachse head coach Rikki Jones said of Romo. “She plays really good defense herself, which is such an attribute for a setter. And the other thing she can do is she can get it to the middle and it doesn’t have to be a perfect pass, which really throws the defense off and gets them out of sync. And our middles are good, which helps. She has a really high volleyball IQ.”

Sachse never trailed in each of the first two sets but faced some resistance by Coppell at the end of each set.

In the first set, Sachse stole the momentum. Rhoden put home a kill for a 23-13 Lady Mustang lead and Romo followed with a service ace on the very next point to put the set out of reach.

In the second set, Coppell rallied to within 22-17 after the Cowgirls had trailed 20-11. Holz had three kills during that attempted comeback. Sachse didn’t help itself either as the Lady Mustangs had a couple of unforced passing errors. But, they found their resolve to win. Grant put home a kill to end the set.

The start of the third set was a total reversal of the first two.

Sophomore Taylor Young put the Cowgirls on top 13-10 with a kill, and following a defensive alignment violation by Coppell on the next point, Gilliland restored the three-point advantage for the Cowgirls shortly thereafter with yet another kill.

Gilliland finished with eight kills, seven digs and one block. Sophomore Taylor Young chipped in two kills and nine assists. Holz posted a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. Senior setter Mari Taira had a double-double of her own with 15 assists and 15 digs. Centeno contributed 17 digs and four assists.

“Sachse was a good challenge for us,” Price said. “They are big at the net and run a faster offense than the teams we had played to that point. We started off a little slow and were then slow in making some game time adjustments offensively.”

Coppell didn’t have to sweat as much during Friday’s home opener. The Cowgirls swept Keller Central 25-10, 25-10, 25-12, as well as Frisco Lone Star 25-23, 25-9, 25-23.

Gilliland finished the night with 22 kills, 13 digs and seven blocks. Holz added 18 kills and 21 digs. Young contributed 21 assists and seven digs.

Taira set up the offense well, totaling 42 assists to go along with 16 digs. Engler had a good all-around effort with 15 kills, seven blocks and three digs. Centeno tallied six aces and 28 digs.

Junior Abby Hendricks contributed 11 kills, five blocks and 10 digs.

To open the season, Coppell downed Azle on the road on Sept. 15, winning by scores of 25-15, 25-14, 25-14.

Gilliland paced the Cowgirls’ hitting attack with 15 kills. Young and Taira each had 16 assists. Holz added nine kills and 10 digs. Junior Aley Clent had four kills and two blocks.

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