Prep Volleyball: Sam Houston’s five-set win over Sulphur creates three-way tie in Div. I, District 3

Published 12:26 am Friday, October 21, 2022

SULPHUR — Sam Houston forced a three-way log jam at the top of the Division I, District 3 volleyball standings Thursday with a five-set marathon win over rival Sulphur.

The Tors entered the game with a chance to secure a share of the district title after another five-set match Tuesday when they handed Southside its first district loss.

Sam Houston (25-8, 4-1), Sulphur (17-8, 4-1) and Southside (18-8, 4-1) each have one district loss, so the district title will come down to the final week of the regular season. On Tuesday, Sam Houston hosts New Iberia (19-10, 0-3) on Tuesday, Sulphur will travel to Lafayette (10-11, 1-3) and Southside will visit Barbe (15-18, 3-2).

Sam Houston has won six of its last seven games and is ranked fourth in the unofficial Division I power rankings. Sulphur, ranked 10th, saw its six-game win streak end.

Sam Houston is 3-1 in five-set games.

Sam Houston led by two twice early in the first set, but Sulphur went on an 11-0 run to take an 18-8 lead. The Tors took their first lead on Libby Benoit’s ace and got a pair of kills from Finli Dennis during the run, and the Tors won the set 25-17.

Dennis dropped a soft shot at the net for a 2-1 lead early in the second set, but Sam Houston was never far behind. Sam Houston eventually went up 18-13, but the Tors rallied with a 7-0 run for a 20-18 lead. Down 24-19, Sam Houston went to sophomore Ava Henry to forge a 7-1 run to win the second set 26-24. Henry had four of her 18 kills to help close out the set.

The third set was a wild one with Sam Houston pulling out a 35-33 win. Sulphur evened things up with a 25-23 win in the fourth set before Sam Houston won the fifth 15-13.

Sam Houston had three players with double-doubles in Henry (18 kills, 11 blocks, 7 digs), Mallory Wills (12 kills, 10 blocks, 7 digs) and Bailey Foolkes (19 assists, 21 digs).

Keelie Seaford (27 assists, 21 kills, 15 digs) and Kendall Judge (15 kills, 26 assists, 10 digs) had triple-doubles for the Tors, and Dennis finished with 15 kills and 16 digs.