Lady Blues JV falls to Abilene Cooper
The junior varsity Lady Blues opened Tuesday evening’s senior night festivities with a 2-1 loss against Abilene Cooper JV. Following a first-set win, the Lady Blues dropped the next two to lose 15-25, 25-16, 25-19 at Graham High School.
The Lady Blues overcame early adversity as the junior varsity Lady Cougars jumped ahead 5-0 with the help of four errors by the Lady Blues. A service ace to set the score at 3-0 was the lone point scored by the visitors to open the match.
Back-to-back errors by the Lady Cougars started an 8-1 run in favor of the Lady Blues to take the lead and force a timeout. Lexi Wolfe and Tara Dawson scored kills during the run.
After the timeout, the Lady Blues gave up serve with a serving error. It quickly returned to the Lady Blues with a kill by Dawson that sparked a 9-0 run to give the Lady Blues a 17-7 lead and a second timeout from the Lady Cougars.
With the Lady Blues ahead by 10 points, neither team carried momentum following the second timeout. Dawson scored the final point of the Lady Blues’ lone junior varsity set win of the evening.
"The first set against Abilene Cooper highlighted our strength in hustle, aggressive net plays, sets to our hitters and good serve receive passes," JV coach Sara Curd said. "Our team was clicking nicely."
The opening of the first set foreshadowed the opening of the following set. The Lady Cougars jumped ahead 6-0 with errors by the Lady Blues on each rally. After a Lady Blues’ timeout, Macee Wilde scored to end the run.
A pair of Lady Blues errors combined with a pair of kills from the Lady Cougars allowed a 10-1 lead for the visitors. The Lady Cougars led by as much as 13 points at 20-7 before the Lady Blues’ effort to fight back into the match. Following a Lady Blues’ timeout, they outscored their opponents 9-5 before dropping the second set.
The first one-third of the final set was the most competitive the two teams played in the match. Trading points to open the match, the teams were even at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 before the Lady Cougars took a five-point lead at 14-9.
The Lady Blues called the first of two timeouts but could not break the Lady Cougars’ momentum, who led 19-11 at the second timeout. Following the second timeout, the Lady Blues outscored their visitors 8-6 before dropping the final set of the match.
"(...) Overall, the last two sets we allowed Abilene Cooper to gain too much ground for us to come back," Curd said. "Despite the loss, the girls fought hard and never gave up. We just need to play consistently, connecting our strengths throughout each set. The girls have what it takes to be really good. (I'm) looking forward to district play with these girls."
Dawson finished the match with a team-high six kills. Storee St. Ama led the setters with eight assists.
The junior varsity Lady Blues hosted Mineral Wells Friday to open district play. They will host Brownwood at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 in the Graham High School main gym.
In the varsity match that followed, the Lady Blues defeated Abilene Cooper 25-19, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21 for a senior night victory. Lady Blues seniors Abby Osborn, Tatum Westerman, Miya Cantwell, Bobbie Jo Hart and Trinity Gregory were honored following the varsity match. For the full varsity match story, see the Saturday, Sept. 24 edition of The Graham Leader.