Tara High’s revitalized volleyball team took another step in the right direction Monday night as the Trojans opened Division II, District 4 play against Broadmoor.
Tara found resistance, but it was enough to hold back the athletic Trojans, who surged past Broadmoor 3-0 by scores of 25-20, 25-12, 25-20.
Tara (15-3, 1-0) was led by a trio of seniors, setter Montairiel Minor, and attackers Adrien Northern and Rikeia Collins.
Minor set the pace for Tara with 27 assists. Northern had a match-high 16 kills to go with seven digs and four blocks. Collins had 13 kills, 11 digs and three blocks.
“Its always good to have a good start in district,” Tara coach Barry Jackson said. “We hadn’t won a district game in four or five years, so that’s another area where we’ve improved. I’m so happy for the girls.”
Broadmoor (7-11, 0-1) was led by Erica Teschke with seven kills, 10 digs and five assists. Anisha Spencer added four kills, 11 digs and nine assists for the Buccaneers. Broadmoor struggled with its ball-handling, and had 11 errors attributed to missed returns-of-serve.
The Buccaneers only led briefly near the beginning of the first two games before a more spirited run in the third.
“We have two returning starters and everyone else is new, but Tara is a good team,” Broadmoor coach Maria Gonzalez said. “They beat us, and they’re a better team, that’s the bottom line.”
Trailing in the match 2-0, Broadmoor put together its best start in game three. Spencer and Teschke recorded kills, and Essella Holland had a block as the Bucs took leads of 10-8, 13-10 and 14-11.
A Broadmoor hitting error pulled Tara within 14-12, and then the Trojans ran off six straight points on Minor’s serve to take an 18-14 lead.
Northern’s kill helped push the lead to 21-15, a lead that proved too much for Broadmoor. The Bucs got as close as four points, but Tara took advantage of Broadmoor errors to close out the win.
The Bucs’ Summer Jefferson was called for a double-hit for a 24-19 Tara lead, and one point later she served into the net, giving the Trojans a 25-20 win.
“I thought it was a real competitive match,” Jackson said. “Broadmoor is an excellent program, so we knew coming in it was going to be a fight.”
Jackson credited assistant coach Cynthia Montgomery, a former head volleyball coach at Istrouma High, for helping Tara make its turnaround this year.
“She’s been an added blessing to us,” Jackson said. “It’s the wealth of experience and knowledge that she brings. You can see that our girls’ technique has developed since she’s come on board.”
In game one, Tara ran out to an 18-9 lead behind the play of Collins and Northern, who had four kills apiece in the early going. Broadmoor rallied to get within 23-18, but Collins’ kill and a serving error by Broadmoor ended it.