By Wil Johnson
GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Sandiettes hosted the Iola Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday in a matchup between a young up and coming team in Grapeland and a savvy, veteran-heavy defending state champion in Iola.
The Sandiettes had been playing well of as late, won some tough five set matches and appeared to be rounding into shape as the district season got underway. It was the classic David vs. Goliath scenario. In the Bible, Goliath was slayed by David, but on the volleyball court, there would be surprise ending to this tale, as Iola defeated Grapeland in straight sets, 25-10, 25-11 and 25-17.
While securing the top spot in the Texas Girls’ Coaches Association poll, Iola has played 23 matches so far this year, lost once and has only dropped a handful of sets. They also avenged their only loss of the season this year to Porter, a Class 5A school.
Their volleyball prowess was on display when they took the court against the Sandiettes. The Lady Bulldogs used terrific passes and sets, well placed shots and spectacular kills to make short work of the Sandiettes in set number one, 25-9.
The second set wasn’t much better than the first as the girls from Grapeland found themselves trailing 7-0 set number two got underway. The early deficit was simply too much for the Sandiettes to overcome as they fell by score of 25-11.
The third set, however, was decidedly different. Grapeland came out and showed some real ability. Whether the Lady Bulldogs simply felt they had the match in hand or the Sandiettes play was just that much better, Grapeland showed a lot of heart and character as they kept pace with the defending state champs early on.
The Sandiettes kept the set close and had tied the score at six when Iola tried to pull away. Grapeland fought back and closed to within one point as the score reached 11-12 and 12-13. The Lady Bulldogs, however, proved to be simply too much as they closed out the third set by a final score of 25-17 to win the match.
Grapeland now has a district record of 1-1 and hosts the Lovelady Lady Lions on Friday, Sept. 16. Iola is now 2-0 and will play North Zulch on Friday. Scores for both games were unavailable as of press time.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.