A pair of conference home matches last week both went into the loss column for Houston, as the Lady Tigers fell on Tuesday to Cabool, 25-10, 25-12, and Thursday against Ava, 25-17, 27-25.
Against Cabool, Houston started strong in both sets, but the hard-hitting Lady Bulldogs got away each time. There were several long points in the first set, but Cabool won almost every one.
Prior to the match, the Lady Bulldogs had only lost only twice all season – both times to Licking – and had frequently been winning by lopsided scores.
“They are a very good team,” said HHS head coach Loran Richardson. “I was a little worried that we would come out flat again like we did the night before against Eminence, but the girls came out strong and did some really great things at the beginning of the game. Ultimately, Cabool took control of the game and we couldn't put the ball away to score, but I felt like we didn't give up the whole game.”
Houston sophomore Sarah Purcell was busy at the net throughout most of the match, and the 5-10 middle hitter finished with 2 blocks, 1 kill and a .333 hitting percentage. Lady Tiger libero Kelly Hubbs recorded 10 digs, while senior Janae Huff had 2 assists and sophomore Hannah Dzurick recorded a 2.33 passing rating.
Houston’s junior varsity team beat Cabool in a hard-fought, three-set match, 25-20, 21-25, 15-10. The Junior Lady Tigers had 20 kills and 4 aces in the win.
In the loss to Ava, Purcell had a season-high 7 kills and recorded a .429 hitting percentage, while Dzurick also had 7 kills (with a .312 hitting percentage) and added a block. Hubbs had 21 digs and an ace for Houston (4-10, 1-3 SCA), while Huff had 11 assists and Kellsi Gayer had an ace.
“These girls looked like a new team,” Richardson said. “They played so hard and were in control of the game for most of the second set. We made some unforced errors at the end, which gave Ava the game.
I feel like the girls executed our game plan well and did some really great things. If we had played like that in some of our other matches, it may have been a different outcome.”
Houston’s JV squad downed Ava, 25-14, 25-15, to raise its record to 11-3. The Junior Lady Tigers had 15 kills and 10 aces in the win.
Houston’s C-team also won, 25-7. The ninth-grade Lady Tigers (9-4-2) had 7 kills and 5 aces.
This week, Houston took on Salem in a Tuesday home match and travels to Bourbon today (Thursday). The Lady Tigers will also play in a tournament Saturday at Licking.
The Class 2 District 3 tournament is scheduled for Oct. 28 and 29.
“We’ve still got a long way to go before districts,” Richardson said, “but we will continue to work on the things we need to to get better.”