CCLP/TJ MAXWELL - Cove sophomore Aiden Chace set the ball during the Lady Dawgs’ loss to Vandegrift on Tuesday. The Lady Dawgs are currently 2-2 on the season.CCLP/TJ MAXWELL - Copperas Cove senior Chyanne Chapman hits against Vandegrift senior Effie Zielinski during their match on Tuesday. The Lady Dawgs are 2-2 on the season after the first two contests of the Austin Varsity tournament.

Cove volleyball, tennis kicks off 2016 campaigns

Cove Leader-Press
The Copperas Cove volleyball team began their season with a pair of tough tests at home on Monday and Tuesday but came up on the short end of the stick. The Lady Dawgs reversed that trend on Monday on day one of the Austin Varsity tournament where they downed Ft. Worth Western Hills in two sets 25-18, 25-16 and Austin Lanier in two sets (25-6, 25-6) to even their season record at 2-2.
The Lady Dawgs also had a contest against Giddings to open up the Austin Varsity tournament.
They began their season with just two full practices under their belt before facing the No. 4 team in Class 5A Leaner Rouse in the season opener on Monday.
The Lady Dawgs fought to a 1-1 tie after the first two sets but dropped the final two to open up the season with a 3-1 loss (14-25, 28-26, 18-25, 18-25).
The Copperas Cove junior varsity defeated Rouse 2-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-21) and the freshman “A” team earned a sweep (25-15, 25-21)
The Lady Dawgs returned to their home court to face the no. 10 team in Class 6A Austin Vandegrift and found themselves at a disadvantage against a squad that returned nearly everyone and the results showed as the Lady Dawgs were swept (25-19, 25-17, 25-14).
The junior varsity picked up the only game win on the day in a 1-2 loss (17-25, 25-15, 17-25. The freshman “A” team lost in two sets (25-17, 25-15).
Dawg Tennis begins season 5-0
The Copperas Cove tennis team is off to a hot start in 2016 with a 5-0 record including some impressive wins over teams they struggled against a year ago.
Most recently, the Dawgs defeated a team they’re used to coming out on the winning end against in Gatesville.
As expected, the Dawgs dominated the Goats of Gatesville to the tune of 18-1 Tuesday at home.
“We got out early with six very quick matches to take a 6-0 lead in doubles,” said head coach Paul Talbett. “After a tight mixed doubles match we went up 7-0 after doubles. Just needing 3 wins to win the match, we relaxed and closed out the match early. Our boys swept their second match of the season as they continue to improve and gain confidence. Even though we were missing three girls from our line-up, our girls went 8-1 on the girls’ side to finish the big win.”
The Dawgs kicked off their 2016 campaign with three of their first four contests against district foes.
They earned a pair of solid victories over Ellison and Shoemaker, two teams they have struggled against in recent years, to open the season 2-0.
Cove defeated Shoemaker 11-5 in the first match of the season in the morning of Thursday, Aug. 4 and completed the quad sweep with an 18-1 defeat of Ellison in the afternoon.
“In the morning against Shoemaker our boys showed a great deal of improvement against a team that gave us a tough time last year in team tennis,” said Talbett. “We were playing better high risk doubles that we have been working on and showed very well taking one out of three boys doubles, and the two losses were very tight matches.
“In the afternoon, we played Ellison. Our boys stepped up carrying us with a 9-0 sweep - our first sweep on the boys’ side in two years. Our girls went 8-1 on their side with a big win in mixed doubles as well. We also swept the doubles going up 7-0 after the close of doubles play.”
The Dawgs followed that up with another strong showing in a quad against Killeen and Temple.
The Dawgs escaped Killeen with a 14-5 victory paced by their singles play. They won 10- out of 12 singles match to take the win after holding a slim lead coming out of doubles play.
“In the morning match our girls continued to step up and play well taking their side 8-1 against Killeen,” said Talbett. “The boys are continuing to improve by large steps in each match they play. We were up 4-3 after doubles with 2 3rd set tiebreakers losses. We then went on to dominate singles by taking 10 out of 12 matches.”
The Dawgs then defeated Temple 13-6 in the afternoon match.
“In the afternoon match, our girls went 7-2, and our boys went 6-3 on their respective sides of the line-up, “ said Talbett. So far, in each of the matches we have been up after doubles, and we have not lost a completed match on the girls or boys side of the line-up. We are getting contributions from everywhere in the line-up.”
Dawg Tennis next competes at the Centex Team Tennis Tournament today and tomorrow to be held in Cove and Killeen. Cove, who is in is in Pool A with Brownwood, McNeil and Shoemaker. They face McNeil at 8:30 a.m. today with a 1:30 p.m. match against Brownwood. Cove opens play on Saturday against Shoemaker at 8:30 a.m.

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