Fri, 2016-10-07 05:00 News Staff
Lady Dawgs outlast another feisty Killeen school in 3-1 win over Lady Roos
By TJ MAXWELL
KILLEEN - A win is a win.
The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs’ volleyball team fought through adversity to stave off a much-improved Killeen Lady Kangaroos’ squad Tuesday in Killeen 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 25-11).
However, Copperas Cove head volleyball coach Cari Lowery knows her team needs to be more consistent through the final five games of district play to get through the district minefield and prepare for the talented teams they may face in the post season.
“We talked about it this week,” said Lowery. “We can’t have marginal defense and marginal offense. We’ve got to be spectacular at one or the other to make up for the marginal and we’re just still working on it. They work hard every day and I believe it’s going to all click when it’s meant to click and when we need it.
“We’ve got to have some consistent offense and my defense wasn’t consistent tonight. My libero (Madison Wasiak) played a great game tonight and Aneissa Vega played a great game but the rest was inconsistent.”
The Lady Dawgs easily swept Killeen in their first district match up at home (25-15, 25-12, 25-12) but the Lady Dawgs alternated dominant plays with hinky plays.
“That may be a little bit of what our problem is,” said Lowry, “We think we are going to cruise through. These girls have grown up being Copperas Cove volleyball. They don’t understand still completely – although they should after these two or three games – that we’ve got to dig in and fight for every point. We’re just making some tactical and mental errors at critical points and not executing every single time.”
Lowry knows those mistakes can cost them with the teams in the district catching up talent-wise.
“They’ve all got some young, new coaches that are really working to improve their programs,” she said, “And they’re doing that.”
Senior middle blocker Chyanne Chapman agreed.
“I think they are getting better and better so we have to be even better (to keep them from closing the gap more).”
Chapman feels the team is chocked with talent, but youth and inexperience still has them second-guessing and that part of her job as a three-year starter is to calm them down.
“I think we’re over thinking it more so,” said Chapman. “I think that 40 games in we’re not really young anymore so I think it’s just over thinking because everybody is good.
“It’s really important (to calm the inexperienced players down) because we have to take control of the game and make sure they don’t get in their heads. They’re doing a good job of not letting it get in there.”
The Lady Dawgs started and ended the match strong but struggled with consistency throughout the middle two sets.
Cove shot out to a 13-8 lead in the first set behind a pair of kills by junior Talia Kinslow and, after Killeen fought back to within three at 17-14, Cove finished on an 8-3 run led by an ace by Chapman and a block by Kinslow.
Both teams battled in the second set with seven ties and four lead changes before back-to-back kills by seniors Zari Chipman and Brianna Acker gave the Lady Dawgs an 18-15 advantage.
A pair of Cove errors allowed Killeen to close the gap. A pair of service points by Killeen’s Jacen Moore and a kill by Alia Vines pushed Killeen back in front, 23-21.
Three straight kills by Cove’s Kinslow, sophomore Aidan Chace and Chipman flipped the lead back to Cove and a hit into the net by Killeen’s Vines closed the set 25-23 in favor of the Lady Dawgs for a 2-0 match lead.
Killeen came out firing in the third set, taking a 6-1 lead on kills by Brooke Errington and Vines. Several Cove errors paired with kills by Killeen’s Tiara Joyner, Rhepsey Wyman and Vines helped the Lady Roos extend their lead to 15-6.
A 14-5 run by the Lady Dawgs knotted the set at 20-all.
A couple Killeen miscues began the Cove run before a pair of kills by senior Kianna Childers and a block by Chapman and Childers helped Cove cut the lead to five, 16-11. Kills by Chapman, an ace by sophomore Aviyon Wilborn and a handful of Killeen errors accounted for the swing.
Cove responded with three-straight errors to allow Killeen to again regain the lead, 23-21. A kill by Vines gave Killeen set point and a push out of bounds by Cove gave Killeen the set, 25-21.
The Lady Roos kept it close early in the fourth set. Killeen’s Joyner and Vines answered kills by Cove’s Acker, Dazsa Braddock and Kinslow with kills of their own for a 10-8 Cove lead.
A kill by Braddock and a block by Childers then catapulted the Lady Dawgs to a 15-3 run to close the set and match.
“Coach Lowry got us back together,” Chapman said of the fourthset turnaround. “We were done being hectic and got our game back together.”
A kill by Chace and a push by Chapman pushed Cove to a 20-11 lead before kills by Chace and Braddock pushed it to game point, 24-11, and a block by Braddock closed the match.
“It’s hard to beat somebody twice when you are a young and inexperienced team and already beat them once and you know you can beat them,” said Lowery. “You’ve got to work harder the second time to beat a good team the second time.”
Acker led the offensive attack for Cove with 14 kills, followed by Chace (13) Kinslow (6) and Chapman (4). Eight different players registered at least one kill in the match for Cove.
Leading the offense in assists was senior Kiarrah Carlisle with 30 followed by Chace’s 12.
Wasiak led the back row defense with 23 digs and 19 serves received. Vega and Chace followed with 10 and nine digs, respectively. Vega also led in aces with three.
Chapman and Kinslow led the front line defense with five and four blocks, respectively.
Joyner led Killeen with 12 kills followed by Vines’ seven. Vines also led the defense with 16 digs and Sethann Baker doled out 19 assists to lead the category.
The Lady Dawgs return to the road with a contest against the Ellison Lady Eagles tonight in Killeen. Lowry knows this is a big game with rematches against Belton and no. 1 ranked Midway looming the following two Tuesdays.
“We’ve got to focus on finishing what we’ve started,” she said. “Not getting into the middle of something, then exhaling and making two and three errors in a row. You are going to make errors. Nobody plays a perfect game but we can’t make two or three errors in a row and let somebody sneak up on you.”