Lady Dawgs fall to Class 1A-2A no. 1a Crawford in non-district clash
By TJ AXWELL
The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs volleyball team took a break from District 12-6A action, but not from fierce competition as they hosted the Class 1A/2A no. 1-ranked Crawford Lady Pirates Tuesday night at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
Looking to get back on track after consecutive district losses for the first time in head coach Cari Lowery’s tenure, the Lady Dawgs came out firing against the top-ranked Lady Pirates as they raced out to a 14-4 lead on their way to a 25-13 win in set one.
The Lady Pirates then showed why they are ranked no. 1 by downing the Lady Dawgs in the next three sets (12-25, 23-25 and 12-25) to take the win 3-1 and improve to 30-3 overall.
acsenior Janice Fa’aola and senior Leah Powell quickly made it a 4-0 Cove lead to start the match.
Two more kills by Powell helped the Lady Dawgs grow their lead to 9-3 before two more kills by Fa’aola and an ace by sophomore libero Emma Wasiak made it a 10-point Cove lead, 14-4.
A back row kill by Crawford senior Anne Williams and another from the front line helped the Lady Pirates narrow the lead to 16-8.
Kills by Powell and Fa’aola and a block by sophomore Kyra Gaston pushed Cove’s lead back to 10, 21-11, and one by junior Larissa Melendez helped the Lady Dawgs close out the set 25-13.
Crawford responded with an 8-2 run to begin set two. Kills by sophomore Katie Warden, sophomore Kylie Ray and Williams and a big block by Williams, coupled with a pair of Cove miscues, paced the Lady Pirates.
Kills by Gaston, Fa’aola and Powell fueled a 6-2 Cove run to make it a two-point contest, however an 8-3 Crawford run opened the lead back to eight, 10-18. A block by Williams and an ace by sophomore setter Lexi Moody paced the Lady Pirates.
A dump by senior Sam Ingram and a kill by Gaston cut the Lady Pirates lead to seven, 12-19, but the Lady Pirates closed on a 6-0 run to even the match at one set apiece.
The third set was close with neither team leading by more than four points throughout the set.
A pair of kills by Ray helped Crawford take a 0-3 lead before a dump by Ingram and two kills by Fa’aola knotted the game at 6-all.
A dump by Moody, another back row kill by Williams along with an ace and kill by Warden helped the Lady Pirates take a 6-10 advantage.
The Lady Dawgs responded with an 11-7 run to knot the game at 17-all. Kills by Ingram, Melendez and Fa’aola and a dump by Ingram led the way for Cove.
A dump by Melendez, a kill by Ingram and a block by Powell gave Cove their first lead since set one at 20-19.
A pair of Cove miscues allowed Crawford to pull ahead by two, 21-23, but a dump by Ingram and a defensive kill by Gaston again knotted the game, 23-all, but a kill by Crawford’s Williams helped close the set 23-25.
The Lady Pirates again jumped out quickly for a 3-8 score.
The Lady Pirates increased their lead to 6-12, despite three kills from Fa’aola and two from Powell.
An ace by senior Peyton Elmore and a kill by Ray gave the Lady Pirates a 10-point edge, 7-17, before finishing on an 8-4 for a 12-25 score in the final set. Kills by Ray and Williams and an ace by Ray paced the Lady Pirates.
Williams finished with a match-high 26 kills while Warden had 11 and Ray had nine. Ray also finished with four aces to lead the Lady Pirates.
Fa’ola led the Lady Dawgs in kills with 15 followed by Powell with 11 and Ingram with eight.
Senior Anna Maddox had four total blocks to lead the front-line defense while Moody (18) and Maddox (17) led the back-row defense in digs. Moody had 56 assists for Crawford.
The Cove junior varsity girls defeated Crawford 25-18, 25-22 to move to 20-6 overall and 5-1 in district play and the freshmen also won 25-19, 25-18.
The Lady Dawgs look to end a three-game losing streak when they return to District 12-6A action tonight on the road at the Killeen Kangaroos.