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Lady Pirates remain undefeated, taking 5-set win from Hallsville

By Jimmy Carter jcarter@marshallnewsmessenger.com
Oct. 3, 2012 at 10 p.m.


HALLSVILLE - The first Pine Tree-Hallsville game in the new Hallsville Coliseum lived up to the rivalry's history on Tuesday night.

No. 8 Pine Tree won a back-and-forth fifth set to earn a 21-25, 25-16, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12 win against its District 14-4A foe on Tuesday.

The Lady Pirates (24-5, 4-0) overcame an 8-5 deficit in the deciding fifth set to remain undefeated in district play.

"When Pine Tree and Hallsville play each other both teams are going to step up," Pine Tree coach Leven Barker said. "Hallsville played very well tonight, we just ended up winning the ballgame."

The match was intense from the beginning, thanks in large part to both schools' student sections. Prior to the fourth set, school administrators forced both sections to change seats in an attempt to maintain order and keep the sections separated and away from the opposing benches.

"That's Pine Tree-Hallsville," Barker said. "There's going to be a lot of trash talking. The kids know it and they have fun with it. That's what makes it fun when we play each other is getting our fans involved. It was a great crowd for them, great crowd for us and it was exciting all night."

Hallsville was unable to return Kennedy Sampson's fifth-set serve on game point, giving Pine Tree the 15-12 win. It didn't come easy, though.

The Ladycats used momentum from their fourth-game win to take the early lead in the fifth set, but Dee Patterson's kill sparked a quick 4-0 Lady Pirates run to give them a 9-8 lead, while sophomore Sky Holmes' four fifth-set kills also aided in Pine Tree's rally.

Holmes finished with a team-high 19 kills in the win.

"She's our horse," Barker said. "So we're going to feed her the ball. Sky is Sky. I thought my outside hitters picked it up down the stretch, too."

Pine Tree also got a key contribution from reserve Brittany Hollis down the stretch.

"She hadn't played much the whole game and got four serves for us and made a great dig," Barker said. "Those type kids are real key to have down the stretch and she's done that several times for us. So that was big."

The Lady Pirates' comeback kept Hallsville from rallying to win the final two sets after falling behind 2-1 in the match.Allison Lawrence recorded two kills and two blocks during a key 5-0 Ladycats run to help them extend the match in a 25-21 win in the fourth game.

Lawrence played well late in the match and got help from Cassidy Ferrill, who was solid throughout and finished with a team-high 10 kills.

The duo's effort wasn't enough to earn the win against a ranked opponent, though. Patterson was solid throughout the match, finishing with eight kills and 12 digs for the Lady Pirates.

Senior Emily Shelton racked up a game-high 39 assists and two blocks in the win, while Mckenzie Richardson and Mckayla Baylor each had five kills. Darby Davis had a team-high 20 digs and Kennedy Sampson added 17.

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