VB

The Goose Creek Memorial defense, aided by a big block featuring Taylor Kotlarz, 14, and Sarina Garcia helped key the Lady Patriots to a three-set sweep of Channelview Tuesday night in Baytown.

Lady Patriots roll to 18th victory

It was a dash of dominance, mixed with a bit of irritation tossed in with a lot of winning.

No matter how one spins it, the Goose Creek Memorial volleyball team continued its winning ways Tuesday night.

Overcoming periods of sloppy play, the Lady Patriots turned up the heat at key moments of sets two and three and finished off a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-18) win over Channelview.

GCM was led by Taylor Kotlarz and Elizabeth Easley with nine kills apiece, while Zoe Martinez (14 assists, 12 digs), Kaitlyn Herrera (14 digs) and Jaidyn Coffman (12 assists) chipped in to the victory.

“We have been on a mission since day one and we have been sticking to it,” GCM head coach Casey Veen said. “Our big focus has been unity and discipline. We are focused on getting better one percent every day and the girls are buying into it.”

The first set saw GCM (18-5) roll out to a strong, 19-7 lead before some uneven play gave Channelview some hope before they succumbed to trail 1-0. 

However, that late momentum put GCM on the wrong end of an early deficit in set two and it stayed that way until late in the second set when the Lady Patriots rolled off a 10-4 run to take a commanding 2-0 lead. Easley recorded two resounding kills to wrap the set.

“We are successful because we are so level headed,” Easley said. “Every point they get, we bounce back and just say, ‘we’re going to get the next point. We don’t let defeat bring us down.

“Our chemistry is so great. We really trust and love each other and we are really coming together this year. We are meshing.”

In the third set it was a little of the same as GCM once again couldn’t get into a steady rhythm.

However, down by two to three points at various junctures, the GCM girls began serving effectively and maintaining rallies to put pressure on Channelview, which led to another rally that clinched the Lady Patriots win.

Admittedly, the Lady Patriots are able to handle the downturns of a match, but they can still get a bit inexplicably inconsistent. 

“We do get a little complacent when things are going well or we think things are going easy and they will just keep going that way,” Easley said. “Every game is going to be a fight and its not going to get handed to us.”

Regardless of the highs and lows, Veen said the Lady Patriots see each point as part of a journey in each match to be won a step at a time.

“We work towards the potential point,” Veen said. “How do we get to neutral, how do we get ahead, how do we stay ahead.”

One thing Veen can take solace in is that her team has not given away any of their defeats. They’ve had to get beaten.

“In theory some of those loses could have gone either way, but they gave us a learning moment on how we can do better,” Veen said. “Each team gave us a different look and some special feature about them they we had to overcome and we didn’t.”

OTHER SCORES

La Porte 3, REL 0

Sterling 3, Galena Park 0

Katy Thompkins 3, Barbers Hill 1

Crosby 3, Livingston 1

Anahuac 3, High Island 0

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