Lady Dawgs bounce back from rough start in the Georgetown Tournament
By TJ MAXWELL
After opening the season with a resounding 3-0 win over Cedar Creek, the Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs volleyball team had a rough start to tournament play against some tough competition in the Georgetown Tournament, losing three of their next four matches before rallying to play in the Silver Bracket Championship.
“Well, I’m pleased with where we’re at right now,” said Copperas Cove head volleyball coach and girls’ athletic coordinator Cari Lowery. “We’ve played 12 games in the last seven days and that is a brand-new thing for these girls. They’ve never done that and they’re holding up.
“I saw some fatigue on Saturday. I think we were playing in a silver championship in the Georgetown tournament on Saturday and I think we just ran out of steam.
The Lady Dawgs were swept by Vista Ridge 25-15, 25-20 in the tournament opener, but quickly bounced back with a 25-12, 25-13 win over the Eagle Pass Lady Eagles.
The Lady Dawgs then suffered a 25-21, 25-13 loss to the John Paul II Lady Guardians out of New Braunfels to end day one action.
The Lady Dawgs opened Friday with a close loss (25-23, 25-20) to the Troy Lady Trojans to fall to 2-3 on the season.
Cove earned their second win of the tournament against the St. Michael’s Lady Crusaders 25-17, 25-13 before ending Friday’s play with a 25-20, 25-13 loss to hosts Georgetown.
The Lady Dawgs fell to 3-5 on the season with a 25-22, 25-17 loss to La Vernia to open Saturday action before going on their first win streak of the season with a close 25-23, 25-23 win over the Bowie Jackrabbits and a 25-19, 25-14 win over other hosts Georgetown East View to close out the tournament to even their season record at 5-5.
“From Thursday when we started in that tournament to Saturday when we finished, there was unbelievable growth, so that’s really exciting,” said Lowery. “I’m still looking for the right combination of who’s going where and everybody’s played a considerable amount of time.
“I think I’ve found my right side and then the next game it’s somebody different that steps up, so that’s just going to kind of be a work in progress.”
The Lady Dawgs then suffered another sweep at the hands of the Lexington Lady Eagles in a three-set match on Tuesday (25-23, 25-18, 25-11).
Finally, the Lady Dawgs responded to win their first five-setter of the season to close out Tuesday’s action.
It was literally a back-and-fort affair as the Lady Dawgs took game one 25-20 and the Lady Patriots took game two 25-17. Cove again came out on top in game three 25-17 before just getting edged 25-22 in the fourth game to set up the deciding game five which resulted in a 15-8 Lady Dawgs’ win. To bring their season record to 6-6 heading into this weekend’s Bastrop Tournament that began yesterday (results not available as of press time).
Senior Kyra Gaston leads the team through 12 games with 100 kills followed by senior Jiya Edwards (68), sophomore Larissa Perez (38) and junior Jamesia Moody (34).
Setting up that offense was junior Jakhi Smith with 225 assists with junior Alana Hairston chipping in 26.
Gaston also leads in total blocks with 73 followed by Moody’s 31.
Leading the back-row defense is senior Emma Wasiak with 175 digs followed by Edwards (99) and 194 serves received followed by Perez (72).
Four different Lady Dawgs have at least 11 aces with junior Layla Cooks leading with 12.
The Lady Dawgs return to their home court to host the Waco lady Lions on Tuesday before heading back to Greater Austin for the San Marcos Tournament set for Aug. 26-28.
The Lady Dawgs close out their non-district schedule at Liberty Hill and Leander Glenn before opening District 12-6A play on the road at Temple on Sept. 10.