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LDVB hitting stride with 9th-straight win


Cove Leader-Press


The Lady Dawgs closed out their home scheduled in style with a lopsided sweep over the Killeen Lady Kangaroos Tuesday night at Bulldawg Gymnasium.

After allowing nine points in the first set of their 3-0 win, the Lady Dawgs allowed just 11 points total in the final two sets on their way to a 25-9, 25-7, 25-4 win for their ninth-consecutive win and 30th on the season.

“I was pleased with how we played because we played at our pace and our speed,” said Copperas Cove head volleyball coach and girls’ coordinator Cari Lowery. “I thought we controlled it from start to finish and I got all the seniors in, so I’m pleased with that.”

Senior Leah Powell had 12 of her game-high 15 kills in the final two sets to help secure the sweep on senior/parent/teacher night.

“It means a lot,” Powell said of the lopsided win on her final night at Bulldawg Gymnasium. “It’s the end of a journey and it’s really sad, but to go out like that and to go out with these people is amazing. I very thankful I got to play for Copperas Cove.”

The Lady Dawgs lost an uncharacteristic three games in a row earlier in the year, including two district clashes that had them on the outside of the playoff bubble, but they have since reeled off nine-consecutive wins to lock up a playoff spot where they currently sit as the second seed. 

“I think all of us have finally realized that playing with new people is a lot harder than we expected it to be,” said Powell. “We finally have that cohesion. We’ve been able to bring it together and play hard. We have been doing great these last few games and it really shows all the effort we’ve been putting in at practice.”

The Lady Dawgs jumped out to big leads in all three sets Tuesday against Killeen. 

Senior Janice Fa’aola had three kills and an ace to lead Cove to a 10-1 lead to start the match as part of her 13-kill night. 

Three more kills and a block by Fa’aola helped Cove push their lead to 14, 21-7, before kills by Powell and senior Sam Ingram closed out the first set. 

The Lady Dawgs jumped out quickly again to start the second set. A dig by sophomore Emma Wasiak set up a kill by Powell to kick off a 9-1 run that helped put Cove on top 18-4.

A block by Killeen sophomore Kaila Mills slowed the run, but an ace by junior Emily Vanderpoel along with kills by Fa’aola, senior Jaela Rice, senior Sam Ingram and Powell closed the set at 25-7. 

It was all Cove in the final set.

A block and a kill by Rice helped Cove to a 4-0 lead before a couple miscues allowed Killeen to cut the lead in half, 4-2. 

The Lady Dawgs then closed on a 21-2 run to earn their 30th win of the year. Five kills by Powell; another block and kill by Rice; aces by Fa’aola, senior Abby McWhorter and Ingram piushedthe score to 23-4 before consecutive errors by Killeen closed the set 25-4 and match 3-0. 

Ingram added eight kills to Powell (15) and Fa’aola (13) while Rice added five. Vanderpoel (22 assists) and Ingram (11) set up the offense.

Fa’aola (13), Powell (12) and Wasiak (12) led the defense in digs while Rice had four blocks to lead the front row. 

The Lady Dawgs close out the season on the road at Temple tonight with a 5:30 first serve and at Ellison on Tuesday for the regular season finale.

“I’ve been saying to them all year, ‘we are the little team that could,’” said Lowery. “Now, every time I say it they all go, ‘chuga, chuga, chuga.’ I knew where we were going to start, but I knew if everybody would buy in, that we would continue to improve. We’re going to keep trying to get better every time we step on the court. 

“There are teams in the state of Texas that have peaked. They were as good as they’re going to be when we played them, and I knew we weren’t that. We’re still not as good as we can be. I still see things and feel things that we can work on. I saw some tonight.”

Powell agreed.

“I want to see us dig even deeper,” she said. “Tonight, all of us were playing really aggressive. That’s what I like to see. I hope we can dig even deeper next game and continue to push forward so we can go far in the playoffs. I really want to win a state championship.”


Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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