PONDER — Ponder overcame a slow start Friday to beat Pottsboro 19-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-15.
The win was the Lady Lions’ fifth straight and gives them a 7-1 record in nondistrict action. It’s also their second win over the Lady Cardinals this week. Ponder beat Pottsboro in a best-of-three final at the Cooke County Classic last Saturday. The Lady Lions are 2-1 against Pottsboro since Aug. 15.
“We are slow starters. I don’t know why, but we are,” Ponder coach Cindy Thornton said. “But these girls keep fighting and once we get going, it’s hard to stop us. It’s very hard to beat someone twice in a row like that, so that’s a huge confidence boost for this team. You need big wins against teams like Pottsboro in order to build a successful program.”
Tori Alexander led the Lady Lions with 14 kills and five digs. Bailey Brown added eight kills, while Ashley Reames finished with 11 digs. Sage Stover posted 22 assists.
“The more we play together, the more we are going to compete and win,” Alexander said.
As good as the night turned out to be for Ponder, it was Pottsboro that was the aggressor early. Ponder opened the first set on a 4-1 run but quickly wilted as the Lady Cardinals continued to keep the ball in play and stay within striking distance.
Once Pottsboro tied the first set at 14, the momentum shifted in its favor as it closed out the set with a 7-3 run.
But that’s when Ponder woke up.
“I think we were overconfident at first, but coach gave us a pep talk,” Alexander said. “Her talks always get us pumped up, and it worked again.”
Ponder was more purposeful and smooth in the second set, and only got stronger as the night progressed. Leading by four midway through that set, the Lady Lions went on a 13-4 run to take a commanding 24-11 lead. They evened the match one possession later on a Pottsboro miscue.
With the momentum swinging back in its favor, Ponder was just as dynamic in the third set. The Lady Lions broke open what was a 10-all stalemate and led 17-13 before going on another 6-3 run that eventually set up the fourth set.
In the fourth, Ponder took a 19-13 lead and finished on a 6-2 run.
“These girls are scrappers,” Thornton said. “They will fight and continue to play that ball. It’s a good group of girls.”