Lady Dawg Volleyball continues roll with 3-0 sweep of Belton

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

Copperas Cove head volleyball coach Cari Lowery didn’t like what she saw from her team for the first 40 points of their 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-13) sweep of Belton at home on Tuesday, but she didn’t mind what she saw for the final 78 points.
“We had a couple slow practices where we weren’t talking enough to each other and that showed in game one,” said Lowery. “Maybe we needed that because we are young and we have to understand that it’s not over just because we are Copperas Cove. We’ve got to step up and play every time.
“It’s a close to a slap in the face as you want but you don’t want to lose one to prove a point. We snapped back into it and I was pleased with the way we played the last two games.”
The Lady Dawgs fell behind 5-1 early before the Lady Tigers returned the faover with a few miscues and junior Aidan Chace pounded down a kill for a 6-6 tie. 
Neither team could take control with mini runs keeping the score close until a kill by junior Christina Pettigrew and another Belton error gave Cove a 15-11 advantage. 
Kills by Belton senior Elicia Jackson and a few Cove miscues allowed the Lady Tigers to flip the four-point lead 20-16 before Lowery called a timeout to stop the eight-point swing.
“I can’t give away my secrets,” Lowery said about her time out comments to her team. “They know. That’s not how they expect to play either. They expect better from themselves so you don’t have to say much. You just have to give them the look and they know.”
It worked.
The Lady Dawgs finished on a 9-3 run to take the first game 25-23. A kill by sophomore Leah Powell and an ace by junior Kamryn Ash started the run before e trio of kills by Powell and three more by Chace and a block by Pettigrew closed the set.
“I was pleased the way we picked back up and I saw some great things,” said Lowery. “I thought Christina Pettigrew had phenomenal game blocking.” 
The Lady Dawgs then outscored the Lady Tigers 50-28 to close out the match. 
Kills by Chace, junior Jada Close and Powell; along with a block by Pettigrew; helped Cove to a 6-1 start before the Lady Tigers trimmed the lead to two, 10-8, behind kills by junior Kelsey Surovik and senior Kale Kincannon and an ace by Surovik. 
Cove then took control with a 10-4 run. Kills by Chace and a block each by Pettigrew and Chace led the way. 
After a couple shots hit just outside of the tape by Cove allowed the Tigers to close the gap to six, 20-24, kills by Pettigrew and senior Talia Kinslow closed the set 25-15.
Cove shot out to another early lead in set three. Kills by Chace, sophomore Janice Fa’aola and Powell; along with another Pettigrew block; led the way. 
A kill by sophomore Emily Holder helped Belton keep it close until kills by Close and Kinslow and a block by Powell helped Cove pull away 20-10 before an ace by Powell and kills by Chace and Fa’aola closed the set 25-13 and match 3-0.
Chace led the way for Cove’s offense with 18 kills while Ash had 29 assists. The Lady Dawgs notched double digits in kills led by Powell’s 16. Kristen Wasiak added 15 and Aviyon Wilburn added 14.
Pettigrew finished with 11 blocks and three kills.
The Lady Dawgs (34-8, 9-0 in District 8-6A) will get a bye tonight before traveling to Waco to face Midway (16-14, 8-1) for the District 8-6A lead.
“It will be tougher on the road,” said Lowery. “We have to have everybody playing against Midway and we didn’t have that last time. We still had some young jitters and things like that and we can’t do that everybody has to be on. From now on, every one has got to be playing. We’re past the point where somebody can have a bad game. We need everybody.” 

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