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ET Volleyball: Longview sweeps Henderson

By Hayden Henry
Sept. 5, 2017 at 10:44 p.m.

Longview's Destiny McAfee scores a point during Tuesday's September 5, 2017 game against Henderson. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

Ready or not, District 11-6A action has arrived for the Longview Lady Lobos.

With a blend of experience and growth from newcomers over the course of the non-district slate, head coach Chaka Jackson believes her team is ready.

"We're excited and we're ready to go," Jackson said. "This team has had to overcome some things with some injuries and just growing on the court.

"I feel like the younger girls that are new to varsity have stepped into their roles and are doing their part. We've gotten better every time we've gone out and I'm ready to see what we can do in this district."

Longview closed out the non-district slate with a quick sweep of Henderson (25-16, 25-13, 25-14) on Tuesday at Lobo Coliseum.

The Lady Lobos, who improved to 17-8 on the year, host John Tyler in the 11-6A opener at 4:30 p.m. Friday back at Lobo Coliseum.

"I feel like we were able to work on our offense tonight and get a confidence boost heading into Friday," Jackson said of the sweep.

Longview did that against the Lady Lions, working in a heavy rotation against Henderson.

It started with a strong showing from the Lady Lobos' most experienced player, Kennedy Eynon.

The senior had a dominant match-opening set, finishing with eight of her team-high 15 kills. She added nine assists and a pair of aces.

Destiny McAfee joined Eynon with double-digit kills, finishing with 10 to go along with a pair of blocks. Junior setter Morgan Vance had 19 assists and an ace. Senior Brooke Goynes had 11 digs while Malaika Pencheon had five.

Pencheon and Taylor Hendrix closed out the night in more of an offensive role, finishing with five and four kills, respectively.

"Taylor has been moving in and out of a lot of positions so far this season with some injuries," Jackson said. "Tonight, we were able to get her in her spot and she was able to do the things that she can do.

"Malaika, she's a junior that's new to varsity action but she's gotten better every game. They're all growing game-by-game."

Now the attention turns to 11-6A, where Jackson said defending district champion Rockwall-Heath as well as Rockwall have stood out in non-district action.

"Both of them are good clubs and I feel like we can compete with both of them," Jackson said. "I think it's going to be tough, it's always going to be tough but I believe we're good enough to get out of it."

On Tuesday, Eynon had three-straight kills as Longview jumped to a 5-1 lead with Goynes at the line. The rest of the opening set was a mixture of Eynon and McAfee recording kills. Hendrix had a strong unassisted kill and Eynon and Pencheon connected down the net to close out the 25-16 win.

Vance had an ace as the Lady Lobos stormed to a 7-0 lead in the second set, a lead Longview extended to 16-7.

Hendrix had two kills around an ace from Manecia Darden for a 2-0 Longview lead.

In the third set, a 6-0 run that staked Longview a 13-7 lead showed the depth with kills coming from Laci Lewis, McAfee and Hendrix along with blocks from Ashley Davis and Hendrix.

Eynon had two aces down the final stretch and connected with Pencheon for the match-winning kill.

Henderson was led by six kills from junior Resha Hall and had a strong night from sophomore Jaclyn Garrett, who had four kills to go with a solid night on the Lady Lion back line.

(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h)

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