GCM’s Elizabeth Easley, 11, hits around the Crosby block Friday night.

Hold off Crosby in 5; RSS set for Summer Creek

Goose Creek Memorial volleyball is set to head to La Porte 6 p.m. Tuesday for a bi-district round playoff match.

It got there by defeating Crosby 3-2 (18-25, 28-26, 25-17, 16-25, 15-10) in a tiebreaker match at Robert E. Lee High School Friday night.

The Lady Patriots earned the No. 4 seed out of District 22-5A and now take on the District 21-5A champs, Barbers Hill (23-21).

Taylor Kotlarz (19 kills, 18 digs) and Zoe Martinez (25 assists) led GCM (35-14).

“It was an amazing game: Crosby played so well,” GCM head coach Casey Veen said. “We had to fight for each point. The energy from both sides were electric. The atmosphere was what you would expect from a playoff game. My girls were relentless. You can see that they never grew frantic, even in those sets we lost. It was a great game rolling into Tuesday.”

The Lady Patriots will take on a Barbers Hill team that swept through district play before Friday’s loss at Summer Creek.

“We are excited to face-off against Barbers Hill again,” Veen said. “We enjoyed playing them last year. They are a good, consistent team. We know we will have to play clean and continue our scrappy defense. I feel the match-up should be a good one. I haven’t seen them play a lot, but what I know about them as that they don’t make a lot of mistakes. We will have to bring our A-game and just fight it out from there.”

Veen saw her GCM squad bounce back from a 15-18 campaign a year ago.

“At the end of the day, I am so proud the girls and our season,” Veen said. “We have gone 35-14 with us going into the first-round game. We have traveled a long, grueling road. I have faith that the girls won’t hold anything back.”

Barbers Hill is ready to go and feel that they are on right trajectory as the postseason begins.

“We are passing well and the players are really starting to take charge in the game,” Barbers Hill head coach Kristin Goodman said. “Our offense is so well rounded, and by that I mean we don’t have one key hitter, we spread the sets around really well and everyone is a great weapon. 

“I think that will lead us deeper into the playoffs.”

To do that, they will have to beat GCM.

“We are looking forward to playing GCM again,” Goodman said. “I think we match up really well with them. They have a very talented setter who we will have to be ready to defend her smart offense. 

“As long as we play at our level and consistently, I see us playing Friday.”

The Summer Creek match was a good tune up for this moment especially after breezing through district play.

“It was definitely a good game for us to have before heading into the playoffs because we haven’t seen that tough of competition in a month or so,” Goodman said. “They served at us aggressively and had a fantastic middle that got by us a few times, and it showed us exactly what we need to work on.”

RSS vs. Summer Creek, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Crosby High School

The Lady Rangers (22-13) will travel to Crosby High School to open bi-district play against Summer Creek. 

“We are excited for the match and look forward to the competition,” Sterling head coach Candace Southall said. “This season has been pretty successful. We have battled with injuries but have managed to maintain stability. Although it wasn’t the district outcome we exactly expected, we are focused on the future and what we can do from any lessons we’ve learned through the season.”

Sterling finished third in District 21-6A.

“This season has taught us a lot about ourselves and has truly shown how much of a family we really are. This is where the ‘unfinished business’ really matters.”


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