Area Powerhouses Meet in Volleyball

by Darrell K. Ardison

PEARLAND — It was just what you’d expect when two premiere girls high school volleyball programs collide in a non-district contest. When the smoke cleared, one team snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Trailing 2-0 in the match, The Woodlands rallied for a road win over Pearland 23-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-12 15-10.

Pearland (11-6) was down 23-17 in the first set and came roaring back to win 25-23.

“Even though we came back and won those first two sets, we were struggling at times and I told my team you can’t keep doing that against a team with so much tradition like The Woodlands because you’re eventually going to run out of gas,” said Pearland coach John Turner.

“We have a good tradition at Pearland as well and we fought hard, but we made way too many mistakes and it’s killing us,” Turner said. “We were out of place and they were not out of place.”

Brooke Botkin (19 kills, 15 digs), Sarah Wright (11 kills), Sam Costello (8 kills, 6 blocks), Grace Lee (33 digs) and Katie Whitehead (17 digs) played well for the Oilers.

Yet once The Woodlands (25-4) seized control of the match, there was no let-up.

“When they made those early runs at us, we lost some confidence and dropped off our intensity,” said The Woodlands head coach Teri Wade. “My middle blocker Sydney Jackson really turned it on with the second rotation.

A.J. Koele (MB), Mia Primavera (libero) and defenders Skylar Scott and Georgia Murphy played huge roles for the Highlanders.

“Everybody wants a power hitter, but we pride ourselves on defense,” Wade said.