SHALLOWATER — It could have been better for Denver City. It also could have been a lot worse.
The Fillies closed a very competitive first week schedule by defeating Friona, 25-20, 25-16, to claim a third-place finish Saturday at the Shallowater Tournament.
Denver City won the rematch against the Squaws after dropping a Friday pool game in three sets.
“We would have loved to play for the tournament’s championship,” said Denver City coach Megan David, whose squad has played eight matches in six days. “But once we knew we weren’t doing that, we set a new goal and achieved that. So that’s awesome.”
Denver City (5-3) faced some adversity before it claimed its third-place finish.
The Fillies started their day with a 1 p.m. meeting against Shallowater, which went the full three scheduled sets. An hour after garnering a 26-24, 19-25, 26-24 win, Denver City needed to get back on the court to take on defending tournament champion All Saints Episopal.
David’s squad put the hurt on All Saints — which used last year’s Shallowater Tournament title as a launching pad to a TAPPS Class 2A state championship. The Fillies controlled the first set and owned a 20-12 lead in the second before suffering from a bit of exhaustion. All Saints won the match 23-25, 25-22, 25-20 before dropping a three-setter to Graham in the championship match.
But, fairly replenished, the Fillies preceded the championship match with their own important win against Friona (6-1) to enjoy a victory at the end of a long day.
“We’re learning a lot,” David said. “I think the kids that haven’t been on varsity, the young ones, are kind of finding out what it’s about. You have to be quick and we have to be in shape. I think we probably need to work on that a little bit, but for the most part I think we held our own.”
Senior hitter Macey Jordon guided Denver City in the third-place game win with 14 points, including four consecutive aced serves to break through in a tight second set. The score had been 14-13 in favor of the Fillies when Jordon took the line.
Friona only scored three more points the entire match.
Holly Hemmeline, last season’s Lone Star Varsity Newcomer of the Year, scored a team second-best seven points behind Jordon. Marley Jordon led a group of Denver City players who combined for 18 assists with seven.
Bailey Pope and Mariah Trevino guided a well-rounded Friona attack with four points apiece.
Friona will try to bounce back Monday in a dual match against Childress and Sanford-Fritch in Childress.
Denver City is scheduled to play a 6 p.m. Tuesday road match against Kermit ahead of beginning LuAllen Memorial Varsity Tournament play in Graham later in the week.
“I feel really good about where we are right now,” Macey Jordon said. “We are a young team, and it felt good to walk away with a trophy. I’m kind of sad we lost to All Saints, but we’ll get them next time.”