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Volleyball Roundup

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Nocona
Nocona came up just short of taking control of the district standings, losing to Holliday on senior night Friday in a five-set thriller.
The Lady Indians lost by the barest of margins in the fifth set after a couple of chances at match point were squandered away by both teams.
Nocona came out hot in front of its loud home crowd as everyone knew the importance of the game. Both teams had only one district loss and the winner would have sole possession of first place in the standings.
The Lady Indians took a big lead early in the first set, which was enough cushion to survive a late surge from the Lady Eagles to win the set 25-21.
The second set looked like it was going to be similar with Nocona taking control early, but Holliday wrestled momentum away to come back and win the set 25-21.
The Lady Indians still seemed affected by the second set as the third started, with the Lady Eagles taking control early on and never letting go. Nocona battled, but Holliday won the set 25-19 to take the lead in the match.
The fourth set was competitive in the early going, but the Lady Indians found their spark again. Taking control midway through, Nocona won the most one-sided set of the match 25-17 to set up a fifth and final set
Holliday took a two point lead early on. The Lady Indians tied the score at 7-7. Nocona took a two point lead 12-10 as the target 15 points loomed close.
The Lady Indians had a chance to win the match up 14-13, but the Lady Eagles did not relent.
With the 15 point target coming and going with neither team up by two points, both teams traded multiple match points but could not put the other team away.
Finally, it was Holliday that came through, winning the fifth set 19-17 to win the match.
Nocona’s final district match is another big one at Henrietta at 5 p.m. on Oct. 23.

Saint Jo
The Saint Jo Lady Panthers won at Perrin-Whitt on Friday in straight sets to keep their undefeated record against 1A district opponents.
The Lady Panthers beat the Lady Pirates with little trouble with set scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-14.
Hannah Reyling led the team with 13 kills and six service aces. Kayden Skidmore had a team high 10 assists to go along with five kills and five aces. Libero Kassidy Pitman recorded a 90 percent serve-receive rating to help spark the offense.
Saint Jo’s final district match will come at rival Forestburg at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 23.

Prairie Valley
The Prairie Valley Lady Bulldogs lost a five-set heartbreaker on Saturday against district favorite Bryson at home.
The Cowgirls came back from two sets down to win in five sets against the Lady Bulldogs.
Prairie Valley won the first two sets 25-18 and 25-21.
Despite winning the second set, Bryson got enough good momentum there that seemed to carry over for the rest of the match with its scrappy defensive play.
The Lady Bulldogs did not help themselves as mental mistakes piled up, leading to the next two sets being no contest. The Cowgirls won sets three and four with one-sided scores of 25-10 and 25-13.
The fifth set was more of a contest, but Bryson pulled away in the end to win 15-11 to complete the comeback.
Emily Carpenter led the team with 20 kills and 16 digs. Veronica Gutierrez had a team high 18 assists. She and Molly Gilleland led the team with three service aces each.
Prairie Valley will not have to wait long for a rematch. The Lady Bulldogs end district play traveling to Bryson to play at 10 a.m. on Oct. 24.

Forestburg
The Forestburg Lady Horns lost at 2A state-power Poolville on Friday night.
A 30 minute power outage delayed the start of the match and while that was not the full cause of the Lady Horns loss it did not help things.
The Lady Monarchs won in straight sets with little trouble with scores of 25-4, 25-7 and 25-8.
Statistical leaders for Forestburg included Katie Willett and Athena Britain each getting one service ace each, Bailey Payne getting two kills, Willett passing out three assists and Keeleigh Burnam getting five digs.
Coach Cori Hayes felt like his team never got their mental status right after the power outage.
The Lady Horns play their final match of the season at home at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 against rival Saint Jo.

Gold-Burg
The Gold-Burg Lady Bears lost against 2A Windthorst on Saturday morning.
The Lady Trojans won in straight sets with set scores of 25-13, 25-11 and 25-13.
The Lady Bears were short handed, but did their best to compete, making Windthorst earn points after long rallies.
Coach Cheryl Cromleigh liked how her team fought overall.
“The girls played their hearts out, hustled from start to finish,” Cromleigh said. “I’m extremely proud of how the girls stepped up. Girls never quit.”
Gold-Burg’s last district match was earlier in the week played at Harrold on Tuesday.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Oil Bowl 2024 Interviews

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There were 16 athletes from our coverage area who competed in the 87th Annual Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl on June 14-15. The first video is an interview with the athletes who played in the girls basketball game (L-R) Skyler Smith, Ziba Robbins, Cirstin Allen and Makaylee Gomez. The second interview was the athletes who played in the boys basketball game (L-R) Tyson Easterling and Javier Gaytan. The third interview was athletes who played in the small school volleyball game (L-R) Jimena Garcia, Kasi Phillips and Bren Fenoglio. The fourth interview was the athlete who played in the big school volleyball game Olivia Gill. The fifth interview was with the athletes who played in the football game (L-R) Troy Kesey, Johnny Stone, Cooper Waldrip, Brady McCasland, Charlie Fuller and Seth Mann.
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Nocona, Saint Jo finish in top 25 of Lone Star Cup

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On the Thursday the final Lone Star Cup standings were released for the 2023-2024 school year.
Montague County had two schools that finished among the top 25 in their classification.
Nocona finished tied for 13th place in 2A while Saint Jo was tied for 24th place in 1A.
It is the highest finish for Nocona ever since the Lone Star Cup started up in the late 1990s. While it is associated with and measures the overall success of a school’s athletic program, it also takes into account the school’s success in academic and other programs like band, one-act-play, robotics, etc.
Nocona scored points in volleyball, football, cheerleading, girls and boys basketball and baseball. Unfortunately, its state appearance in film did not count towards the total. It all added up to 41 points, which is the most in program history
For Saint Jo, the success of its volleyball, football, softball, baseball, girl’s and boy’s basketball teams led to 32 points.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.

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UIL changes playoff format

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The University Interscholastic League announced on Tuesday changes for the upcoming school year when it comes to playoff formatting.
For 2A-5A schools, playoff formatting for volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball and soccer will now be split up into two divisions that will model itself like the 6A football playoffs. For 1A schools, this will only be applied for basketball. In all, there will be 12 state champions in those sports now.
This means there will be two playoff divisions within every classification. Districts will stay the same and not be affected. Four teams from every district will still make the playoffs, but now the two biggest schools of the four will play in the bracket with the other bigger schools while the two smaller schools will play in the other bracket.
This will not be like 1A-5A football, where divisions are hard cut by enrollment numbers and district alignments are set up with this in mind. Some districts that feature schools with low enrollment numbers within a classification will have to send two schools to compete in the big school bracket.
At lower levels, it might still set up a scenario where a team faces a school with twice the enrollment numbers. The thought process is it should happen less.
With fewer teams in the playoff bracket, certain parts of the playoffs like the area round and the regional tournament will not be featured as there will be less games to play on the way to the state tournament.
While the announcement was surprising to some, other coaches said they first heard about it at the basketball state tournament. UIL polled coaches, who were reportedly all for the change according to Nocona athletic director Blake Crutsinger.
For some schools, the changes will not mean much besides fewer games. Bowie is in that spot. With an enrollment number of 493, only Vernon and Iowa Park are the schools in its district that are bigger and would have to finish at the top two spots in the standings in order for Bowie teams to play in the smaller bracket.
For other schools, the change could be a big deal. Nocona’s enrollment of 234 is only 20 short of the 2A limit. The Indians will most likely play in the bigger bracket in every sport.
The Lady Indians basketball team finished as runners-up at state this year and will return four of their five starters. The teams that have beaten them the last two years, Martin’s Mill and Lipan along with several other 2A basketball powers have low enrollment numbers and would probably be in the smaller school bracket.
For 1A schools, the change is welcome but the fact volleyball was not included was sad to see for some coaches. From a numbers perspective, there are almost twice as many schools that offer basketball (213) than volleyball (123) in 1A.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.

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