TROY — With District 19-3A action starting Friday, the Troy Trojanettes were looking for one final match Tuesday night to fine-tune their skills as they prepare to vie for the district title and what they hope is another long playoff run.
A 25-17, 25-16, 25-15 sweep of the Anderson-Shiro Owls has confidence running high in Troy.
“We went into the locker room saying, ‘We’re ready,’” Trojanettes sophomore hitter Graycee Mosley said.
Mosley was definitely ready Tuesday, posting seven of her 14 kills in the opening set. She helped break the set open with a run of four kills to put the Trojanettes (23-3) up 14-9.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Mosley said of her first-set dominance. “I always come out trying to do well. Coach moved me and Savannah (Sebek) to the outside yesterday to move the ball around more. And we were able to move it around more.”
The move by Troy coach Rachel Melancon put Mosley and Sebek, who added 11 kills, in a better position to attack because the Owls, like most opponents, focused on Troy’s top hitter, Alexis Tippit.
“What we were doing was catching some of the newer players up to speed,” said Melancon, who guided Troy to the Class 3A state tournament last season. “When I felt they were there, I could play Graycee outside where she belongs. I plan to keep her out there. She can see the court, and she’s very efficient and effective.”
As for Sebek, who is normally a setter and defensive specialist, Melancon said she thought back to a match against Nacogdoches Central Heights in last season’s regional semifinals, which Troy won in five sets.
“Against Central Heights, what happened was they cornered in on Alexis, and we had to use our outside,” Melancon said. “It was a little bit of a freak out, and we’ve kept that in the back of our mind.
“Tonight in Alexis’s case, (Anderson-Shiro) had a pretty strong middle, so Alexis was having to stay back and she couldn’t transition. That opened the door for Graycee and Savannah and they took it and ran with it.”
While dealing with 6-foot Owls middle Kyndal Bohnert early on, Tippit made her presence felt in the opening set with a solo block that put Troy up 16-10 and another for a 19-11 lead.
Tippit unleashed her power in the second set with seven kills, including three of the last four for the Trojanettes.
Sebek had five kills in the final set, including one at 9-all to put the Trojanettes up for good. Tippit followed with an ace, and the Owls made three consecutive hitting errors.
“(Savannah) is fun to watch,” Melancon said. “And the other thing is I can move her, Graycee and Alexis to so many positions depending on the other team. I don’t like to move every week based on the other team. But if need be, we can use different weapons in different ways and I’m able to trust they will get the job done.”
After the Trojanettes’ performance Tuesday night, Melancon feels good about where her team is heading into district.
“I think it was a good match for a pre-district match,” she said of the Owls (18-8). “I think with the things we did, we’re ready, we’re confident. But we’re still trying to take it one game at a time, with a goal set in mind to continue to play throughout November.”