Lady Harvesters start season with sweep over Tulia

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The Pampa Lady Harvesters (1-0) volleyball team opened the season against Tulia in the friendly confines of McNeely Field House on Tuesday evening.

Pampa swept (25-16, 25-12, 25-12) the Lady Hornets in what was first-year head coach Kaylee Samulowitz’ first game leading the Lady Harvesters.

“It feels really good (to get the first win of the season, and as head coach),” Samulowitz said. 

“There is always a lot of jitters with the first game and I feel like we started out really nervous. We were missing one of our starters today, so we had to bring up some players that were not expected to play. I feel like we overcame a lot of adversity today and it was a really good win.”

The Lady Harvesters found themselves in a tight battle with the Lady Hornets in the inaugural set as a kill from sophomore Mikalie Floyd gave them the early 5-4 edge. Floyd and fellow sophomore Hallie Hawthorne combined for three straight points as the duo took over the set to give Pampa the 12-5 lead.

Floyd added two more kills to give Pampa the 14-8 lead later in the set. Seniors Marcee Troxell and Tynaa Mojica extended that lead to 17-12, hampering Tulia’s attempt to close the gap. Hawthorne, Floyd and senior Shelbi Burrows all but put the set on ice as they doubled up the Lady Hornets with 22-11 lead en route to winning the first set 25-16.

“We have a lot of offensive weapons just personnel-wise,” Samulowitz said. “But we also have people that can play a lot of different positions, and that makes our offense really unpredictable. That’s one of our advantages for the rest of the season. 

“We have players who have played a lot of different positions, so we don’t run just a traditional line-up. So a lot of players get swings from a lot of different areas on the court. That plays a big part of our offense.”

The Lady Harvesters picked up where they left off in the second set with Floyd scoring a pair of kills and senior Hallie Sieck scoring an ace to give Pampa the 3-0 lead. 

Sophomore Ariel Lacher and senior Celest Ostercamp tacked on two more points for the Lady Harvesters to give Pampa the 6-3 lead.

A kill from Sieck and an ace from Burrows helped Pampa keep a five-point 11-6 lead as Tulia called a timeout. 

The Lady Harvesters continued to pour on the offense with kills from Hawthorne, Sieck and Troxell during what was a 10-4 run dating back to before the Tulia timeout. 

Mojica, Floyd and Burrows took over the waning moments of the set as Pampa went on to win 25-12.

“Both of those players (Shelbi Burrows and Hallie Hawthorne) did a great job serving today,” Samulowitz said. “Hawthorne was playing her first varsity game and she was probably the player of the game in my eyes. She did a great job.”

“We’ve been talking all year about serving aggressive, we missed a lot but that will come with more experience and playing time. But, I thought we did real well from the serving line.”

Pampa picked up where they left off in what would be the final set, jumping off to a 10-2 lead with aces from Ostercamp and Floyd, as well as kills from Lacher, Hawthorne and Mojica.

Hawthorne had five of the final 15 points and Ostercamp put the match on ice with an error-inducing serve in favor of the Lady Harvesters.

The Lady Harvesters return to action with their first road-duel of the season at Levelland with fellow visitors Highland Park.

“We scrimmaged Highland Park this weekend and we play them every year,” Samulowitz said. “They always give us a good game and energy. We beat Levelland in the first round of the playoffs last year. We haven’t seen them this year, but hopefully that will be a good game for us, as well.”

Stat round-up

Celest Ostercamp had three aces, nine digs and two assists; Mikalie Floyd had an ace, 17 kills and 11 digs; Shelbi Burrows had two aces, two assists and three digs; Haley Fossett had one assist and one dig; Hallie Hawthorne had three digs, one assist, two aces and eight kills; Hallie Sieck had 35 assists, nine digs, an ace and three kills; Tynaa Mojica had nine kills and a dig; Marcee Troxell had five kills and Ariel Lacher had two kills.

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