Texas wins home opener

The Tigers defeated the Lady Rabbits in straight sets

Junior+Mally+Lumpkin+spikes+the+ball+against+the+Atlanta+defenders+for+one+of+her+14+kills+in+the+match+with+Atlanta+High+School.+The+Tigers+won+their+season+opener+in+straight+sets+%2827-25%2C+25-19%2C+28-26%29+in+the+Tiger+Center+against+Atlanta+High+School+Rabbits+on+Aug.+9%2C+2022.

Photo by Dakota Dennard

Junior Mally Lumpkin spikes the ball against the Atlanta defenders for one of her 14 kills in the match with Atlanta High School. The Tigers won their season opener in straight sets (27-25, 25-19, 28-26) in the Tiger Center against Atlanta High School Rabbits on Aug. 9, 2022.

Story by Kailyn Williams, sports editor

The Texas Tigers volleyball team swept the Atlanta Rabbits in their home opener on Aug. 9, 2022. 

In the opening moments of the first set, the Rabbits came out strong. 

With a few big kills and some miscommunication errors on the Tigers, Atlanta grabbed a lead of 17-9  early in the match.  

Junior Mally Lumpkin went on a five-point service run to bring the come back into reach.

The Tigers threw the Rabbits out of rotation a few times to close the point gap to one. Freshman Deja Aubrey came up with a big ace to tie the game at 21. 

Texas and Atlanta traded points until 25, the Tigers won the first set with a score of 27-25. 

Lumpkin started the second set with a big kill to gain momentum that would carry the Tigers through the set. 

The Tigers kept control of the set for its duration, not letting up, and won it 25-19.

The third set was fast-paced and frantic for each team. The Tigers and the Rabbits traded points back and forth throughout the first 16 points of the set. 

Both teams played scrappy defense, keeping the set close. 

Freshman Kyleigh Perkins came up with two big kills to keep the Rabbits from gaining momentum. 

The Tigers and Rabbits traded points back and forth, and the set came down to the last two plays. 

Texas prevailed and closed the match with a block, securing a 28-26 set win and a 1-0 season start. 

Lumpkin led the team with 14 kills, followed by junior Cy Hopkins with 12 kills and 16 assists. Perkins broke out in her first varsity match with 6 kills and 17 assists.

This will be a year of rebuilding for the Lady Tigers, after losing five seniors this past season, however, multiple freshmen and juniors are stepping into their new roles well. 

“I’m really just focused on being a leader,” Lumpkin said. “The younger girls are all pretty nervous playing in their first varsity matches, us upperclassmen have to try to keep them calm on the court.”

The Tigers are taking non-conference playing time to build a strong foundation for such a young team before they face district opponents. They used this first true game to identify weaknesses so that they can make adjustments. 

“In practice, we work a lot on the small stuff,” Lumpkin said. “Coach Hardy preaches that there can be no success without a foundation.”

The Lady Tigers will travel to compete in the Tyler Legacy Tournament Aug. 11-13.