Glenn impresses; Rouse ranked fourth in 5A polls

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Stop the presses! First-year school and varsity team Glenn High School (7-24, 3-5) got their third district win of the season as Gabby Thomas slugged 13 kills in a 25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 25-22 win over Taylor (14-22, 2-6).

“The girls work so hard every time out, they are inspiring and are so committed, it is a wonderful experience and we all are really enjoying it,” said head coach Marie Bruce.

Bruce’s Grizzlies trail fourth place Salado as they strive for a playoff spot in their first year in existence. Glenn is playing freshmen and sophomores in a varsity district, so their efforts are impressive and considerable.

 In class 6A, the Vipers of Vandegrift (34-7, 7-1) used 12 kills by Ryan Palmieri with nine kills, two aces and a block by Bella Benoit plus 17 assists by Madison Jaeger to sweep Leander 25-14, 25-14, 25-13.  

The Vipers are clicking along and eyeing their Oct. 18 re-match with first place Westlake. Vandegrift played the first meeting without Jaeger at setter after she was injured in an earlier match that same week. Vista Ridge had a Friday night bye.

In class 5A, Rouse (32-7, 12-0) got 17 kills from Ava Bell to beat Georgetown (18-21, 5-6) 22-25, 25-21, 25-22, and 25-20. Setter Kaleigh Skopal chalked up 41 assists as the Eagles gave Rouse a strong match.

“Georgetown played very well, it was a good test for us,” said Rouse head coach Jacob Thompson, whose Raiders are ranked fourth in the state Class 5A polls. 

Katy Northcut led the defense with 21 digs, while freshman Grayson Schirpik had five service aces in the victory.

“Georgetown was playing with a definite chip on their shoulder, they have a strong shot at playoffs and really gave us a good match, the entire district has really gotten tougher in the second round,” Thompson said.

Bell’s 17 kills gave her 31 on the week as the junior middle blocker continues to improve according to Thompson.

“Ava is really coming into her own, she shows great footwork at the net and is coming up with timely kills,” Thompson said.

Cedar Park (31-10) stayed a match back by beating Cedar Creek (25-14, 6-6) 25-18, 30-28, 25-17 despite 22 kills by Brooke Townsend of Cedar Creek.

“Luci (Albertson) and Lindsey (Ledyard) both played great for us, we knew that Cedar Creek would be up for the match and they really competed, overall it was a good match,” said Cedar Park head coach Kori Cooper.

The Timberwolves, ranked tenth in the state, have a strong schedule left before concluding the season by hosting first place Rouse on Oct. 25 in the final regularly-scheduled season match.

“We really don’t have any trouble staying focused through the end of district, we play Georgetown, East View and Bastrop and they are all extremely competitive, we need to stay prepared to play them then we get Rouse at home and then playoffs,” Cooper said.

East View (22-17, 8-3) stayed in third place in district with a sweep of Connally 25-5, 25-15, 25-10.  Cadi Boyer had ten kills as Hutto (21-21, 7-5) survived an upset bid by Bastrop (10-19, 2-9) 26-24, 25-16, 21-25, 19-25, 17-15.

Footnote: Dripping Springs, defending Class 5A state champion played in the same district last season as all the Leander Schools (Except then 6A Rouse), Friday night Dripping Springs swept Lockhart Friday night to give Tigers’ head coach Michael Kane his 600th coaching victory.

Kane guided Dripping Springs to the state Class 5A championship last year, and a national top ten rating, after finishing as a finalist the previous year and a semifinalist the year before that.

Kane took St. Michael’s Academy to the TAPPs state tournament six times and won four state championships. This is the twentieth year in Kane’s coaching career, which now includes 19 straight playoff appearances.

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