Eastern’s volleyball squad held off Northwestern in five sets Saturday at Taylor to win the Howard County Tournament, its fourth county crown in the last six seasons.
The Comets (17-9) took the first two sets from the Purple Tigers, 25-21, 25-16 before Northwestern battled back to win the third and fourth sets, 25-15, 25-22. Eastern was able to regain enough momentum to take the fifth set 15-13 to win the match.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Eastern coach Missy Mavrick said. “One of the things we really challenged them on was staying focused and continuing to fight until the end. We got a little lax there in the middle of the Northwestern match, but I feel like we were fighters and my kids showed me we’re really growing as a team. … I’m extremely excited in my first season [as head coach] to win a county championship and have a winning record.”
Lizzy Mavrick led Eastern with 23 kills, 19 digs and nine service points. Kinsey Duke added 13 kills and 10 digs. Hannah Williams finished with nine kills and four blocks. Maddie Vint (10 points) and Hannah Broo (eight points) added strong service games in the title match, while Quinlyn Hochstedler finished with match with 54 assists, 11 digs and 10 points, and added three crucial kills down the stretch to help hold Northwestern off.
In the opening round, Eastern topped Taylor 25-14, 25-17, 25-9, led by 12 kills from Lizzy Mavrick, 10 kills and four aces from Williams and nine kills from Gabby Castillo. Courtney Clark added nine digs, 14 points and three aces. Vint added 16 points, and Hochstedler dished out 35 assists.
Kim Seal led Taylor with four kills, while Ashleigh Till added three blocks. Hannah Mullinax led the Titan servers with points, and Kayla added eight points.
Eastern’s junior varsity, eighth grade and seventh grade teams also claimed county titles Saturday.
Northwestern defeated Western 25-13, 25-11, 25-14 on the other morning semifinal.