All-Texomaland Volleyball 2012 — Watson leads Gunter to history

GUNTER — The Lady Tigers have been a perennial playoff participant yet always hit a third-round roadblock.

Despite being a third-place finisher this past season, Gunter was able to finally able to overcome its postseason hurdle.

“Our district was so tough. Getting to regionals was amazing,” Gunter head coach Tonya Watson said. “Anything can happen in the playoffs.”

The Lady Tigers made the region semifinals with a rousing revenge victory against Pilot Point, which had beaten Gunter twice on the way to winning District 12-2A.

In the match the Lady Tigers had to win, however, Gunter was in control from the outset.

“What was the difference? I don’t know,” Watson said. “I don’t know a reason other than they didn’t want their season to end.”

Gunter finished 25-16 with a loss to Commerce at the regional tourney. The Lady Tigers surged after a slow start.

“We started 3-7. I was questioning myself,” Watson said. “I was questioning everything.”

Guiding the Lady Tigers to the best season in school history earned Watson the nod as the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Volleyball Coach of the Year for 2012.

“I was really proud of the girls,” she said. “The kids were on the bandwagon. They didn’t want to lose.”