Lady Dawgs secure 2nd seed; to face Mesquite Horn in Round 1
By TJ MAXWELL
The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs volleyball team held on to their no. 2 seed heading into the playoffs with a 3-1 (25-13, 23-25, 25-15, 25-21) win over Belton Tuesday night at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
Cove battled back from a 1-1 tie to defeat the Lady Tigers and secure the second seed heading into the state playoffs next week. The Cove win also secured the third-place spot for the Ellison Lady Eagles as they improved to 11-3 with a win over Waco High and opened up a two-game cushion over Belton (9-5) with just one game remaining.
After jumping on the Lady Tigers in the first set for a one-sided 25-13 win, the Lady Dawgs struggled to find their rhythm in game two in a 23-25 loss.
The Lady Dawgs again jumped out to an early lead in the third set and continued to grow that lead until a 25-15 third-set win put them one game away from the no. 2 seed.
The Lady Dawgs again jumped out quickly in the fourth and final set, but the Lady Tigers fought their way back in the set only to fall 25-21.
Senior Aidan Chace again led the Lady Dawgs’ offensive attack with a team-high 18 kills while juniors Leah Powell and Janice Fa’aola added 11 kills each in the win. Chace and Powell also added two aces each.
The offense was set up by senior Kamryn Ash’s 39 assists.
Five different Lady Dawgs registered double-digit digs in the contest. Chace led with 17, followed by Ash (15), Powell (15), senior libero Aviyon Wilborn (12 and Fa’aola (12).
Senior Christina Pettigrew led the front-line defense with six blocks.
The junior Lady Dawgs tied a school record with 30 wins that ties last year’s squad with the same total.The Lady Dawgs’ 30th win came Tuesday night in a dominating 25-9, 25-11 win over Belton. The win brought the season record to 30-3.
Emma Wasiak had 17-consecutive service points to begin the game. The Lady Dawgs are off this Friday, but will have a chance to break the record in their final game of the season next Tuesday at Killeen.
The Cove freshman A team lost to Belton in two, 12-25, 24-26 and the Freshman B team also suffered a loss in a three-set match (22-25, 25-19, 21-25. They played a great game but came up short and lost in three. The scores were 22-25, 25-19, and 21-25.
The Lady Dawgs close the regular season in what equates to a playoff warm-up game against Killeen for the varsity. Neither team can improve their positions in the contest as Midway owns the tiebreaker over Cove, and Killeen is out of the running.
The Lady Dawgs will face the third-place team from District 11-6A, Mesquite Horn, Tuesday, Oct. 30 at West High School. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.
The two teams appear very similar as the offense is a multi-pronged attack and several players play all the way around defensively.
The Lady Jaguars’ offense is set up by a trio of seniors. Erikah Woodworth leads the team in assists with 405 while Macie Malcolm and Trinity Carter follow with 205 and 143, respectively.
Senior Shai’nell Taylor leads the team hitting with 272 kills while freshman Makaila Harris adds another 223 and junior Aijha Sampsell adds 119.
The Lady Jags’ defense is led by senior libero Aniya Clark with 610 digs. Taylor adds 413 and Harris chips in 200. Clark also leads in serves received with 780.
The Lady Dawgs appear to have the defensive edge at the net as the Lady Jags have just 188 total blocks as a team with sophomore Charlize Williams leading the category with 83. Junior Ashanti Sampsell follows with 50.
The Lady Dawgs’ offense is set up by the senior Ash with 912 while Chace adds about 400 more (some statistics from Midway and Belton games unavailable at press time).
Chace leads the team in kills with 398, followed by Powell with around 300 and Fa’aola with 278.
Injured senior libero Kristen Wasiak still leads the team in digs with 510 despite her absence the past two weeks. Powell is next with just over 400 followed by Chace at about 300 and Wilborn 267. Waisak also leads in serves received with 475 with Powell close behind.
Senior middle blocker Christina Pettigrew leads the front-line defense with 165 total blocks while senior Jada Close adds 146. Chace rounds out the 100 club with 111.
Close also leads the team in aces with 47 followed by Ash (47) and Wilborn 39.
A win against Horn would likely set up the Lady Dawgs with an Area Round matchup with no. 4 Prosper unless Tyler Lee pulls off the upset of a lifetime in round 1.