By Bill McCaughey
For the Fort Bend Star
In the battle for first place in District 20-6A, the Ridge Point Panthers swept the Austin Bulldogs 25-16, 25-19 and 25-22 last Friday at Austin High School.
The Panthers are undefeated in district play with a record of 5-0, while Austin drops to 4-1.
In the first set, the Panthers jumped to a 14-2 lead and cruised to a 25-16 win. The second set was closer but the Bulldogs could never take the lead. With the score tied at 14, the Panthers outscored the Bulldogs 11-4 to win the set, 25-19. The third set was much like the second. The teams were tied at 15, but the Panthers went on to win 25-22.
The Panthers were led by Skylar Fields with 15 kills. Reagan Rutherford and Claire Jeter had 19 kills each. Cimone Woodard had 15 digs and Camryn Higginbothem had 28 assists.
“We were more prepared for this game as Austin beat us twice last season, and we were out for revenge,” Fields said.
“I think we had a sense of urgency tonight. We had a nasty taste in our mouth as they beat us twice last year. We wanted to go out there and take care of business, and play as clean a game as possible,” Ridge Point Coach Lori McLaughlin said. “We have a lot of firepower at a lot of positions, and we just need to utilize it to our advantage.”
The Panthers did not have Fields for the pre-district season. Fields, a University of Texas commit, played on the USA Youth National team in the Girls U18 World Championship in Argentina in August, returning to the U.S. on Sept. 5.
“I learned a lot playing on the national team. I learned I need to work hard every ball, to not take any balls off. I can’t take any days off if I want to be the best I can,” Fields said. “I need to work on my blocking and defense so I can become a better all-around player. My dream is to play in the Olympic games.”
On Thursday, Ridge Point plays at Hightower and Austin plays at Bush. Ridge Point and Austin meet again on Oct. 17. at Ridge Point.