At times it wasn’t pretty for the Ingram Tom Moore High School Warriors on Friday night, but that might be expected when you haven’t played for a week.
Ranked No. 1 in the state 3A, the Warriors played host to Great Hearts Monte Vista, a San Antonio-based school, in the bi-district round of the UIL playoffs. There were plenty of mistakes but it was still a 3-0 sweep for the Warriors, who are now 27-0.
Ingram had 13 service errors and had some passing mistakes in the first two sets, but by the third set Friday the Warriors were firing away offensively. Set scores were 25-9, 25-20 and 25-12.
“We got out to a little bit of a slow start, it was kind of expected,” Warriors coach Tony Vela Jr. said. “We haven’t played in a week. As the match went on we got better and we finished strong.”
Ingram senior Anna Crittenden showed that against the visiting Lions with a streak of nine consecutive kills at one point, including five in the second set, and she finished the night hitting .571 (12-of-21).
“It’s all business when we get on the court,” Crittenden said. “We said pick it up and stop having a negative attitude.”
The victory moved Warriors into the area round and they will face Halletsville either Monday or Tuesday at a site to be determined. It’s unclear if neutral site matches will be used for the playoffs, but Vela said he preferred a neutral venue rather than losing a coin flip and having to travel to an opponent. The winner of that area match will face the winner of Randolph, which ended Comfort’s season, and Columbus in the regional quarterfinals Nov. 5-7.
There wasn’t much the Lions could do against the Warriors on the court. There were moments, but for the most part, once Ingram started to execute there was no stopping the Warriors.
Emmah Schmidt dominated from the service line by serving up six aces, and she had five kills to help pace the Warriors. Senior Makenna Gelsone finished with seven kills, hitting .350 (7-of-20), and had 12 setting assists.
Crittenden also shored up the defense with a match-high 24 digs for the Warriors. Libero Macie Neutze had 14 digs. Senior Karli Bonam was pivotal in the third set with three consecutive kills late in the set to settle the Warriors. Bonam finished with eight kills on the night, hitting .500 (8-of-16).