Lady Panthers lose to Harris County in region tournament, fail to make playoffs

Volleyball+head+coach+Jason+Flowers+calls+a+timeout+in+the+second+set+against+Harris+County.+Starr%E2%80%99s+Mill+lost+to+Harris+County+2-0%2C+eliminating+the+Lady+Panthers+from+the+region+tournament+and+ending+their+season.

Staff Photo

Volleyball head coach Jason Flowers calls a timeout in the second set against Harris County. Starr’s Mill lost to Harris County 2-0, eliminating the Lady Panthers from the region tournament and ending their season.

Adeline Harper, Staff Writer

The Starr’s Mill varsity volleyball team entered last Thursday’s region home match aiming to advance and earn a spot in state playoffs. The team fell behind early in each set and could not recover. The Lady Panthers were defeated by Harris County 25-12, 25-19.

Earlier in the week, Starr’s Mill defeated Northgate 2-1 and lost to Whitewater 2-0. The Lady Panthers had to win against Harris County, a team they beat in the regular season 25-23, 25-21.

“We just weren’t as mentally prepared as we needed to be. We had people being sick and people being injured,” head coach Jason Flowers said. “The line up we had tonight was nothing compared to the line up we started the season with. [The Lady Panthers] fought through and played really good in spurts, but there were times that we couldn’t quite put it together when we needed to.”

Harris County jumped out to a quick lead in the first set. The Tigers maintained a comfortable lead from that point on. Starr’s Mill called two timeouts in hopes of ending the opponent’s scoring streaks, but they struggled to gain momentum. Harris County won 25-12 in an opening set that lasted 15 minutes.

In the second set, Harris County again jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead. Starr’s Mill tied up the game at 8-8, but lost their streak at 15-10. In the last attempt to try and regain control of the set, Starr’s Mill called another timeout at 18-14. It was all for nought as the Tigers defeated the Lady Panthers 25-19. 

The loss marks only the second time in school history that Starr’s Mill volleyball has not earned a spot in the state playoffs. The last time was 2002.

Thursday night’s match was the last match for three Lady Panthers — Nicole Smith, Joy Johnson, and Grace Ramkissoon. 

“Two of the three seniors were varsity all four years,” Flowers said. “[With] Nicole having 1,000+ kills and Grace having played multiple positions, the impact of them on the program was huge. They will certainly be missed.”

Coach Flowers will turn to the youthfulness of the team next year. There are currently six sophomores and two freshmen on the roster.

“The returning players have played really well together,” Flowers said. “They’ve played on the 8th grade and JV team. They are poised and ready to take on next year.”

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