The Howe Lady Bulldogs hosted the district-leading Pottsboro Lady Cardinals on Sept. 27 and suffered a 3-0 setback to the 5-0 team.
The tall, athletic Lady Cardinals took the first two sets, 25-13 and 25-12, before Howe got it together in the final set to challenge the visitors.
Kills by Riley Harvey and Morgan Carney helped get the Lady Bulldogs off to a 3-0 start in the third set, after Pottsboro had breezed to its early wins.
A combo block by Carney and Kayla Anderson kept the Lady Bulldogs on top before a Destiny Daniels kill tied the set at 6-6.
An Anderson kill and a Pottsboro error made it an 8-7 set before Howe went on a 7-0 run to force a Pottsboro timeout.
Two kills by Hailey DeFrange and a soft shot that fell for Carney, kept the Lady Bulldogs on top by five.
Daniel, a 6-1 leaper at the net, was also pretty good at the service line. She sent in a pair of aces to start a Pottsboro run that would eventually tie the set at 18 each.
Most of the Howe shots were sailing long as the team was too pumped after those blow-out wins in the first two sets.
Aurian James found a hole in the middle of the Pottsboro defense and dropped in a shot to put Howe back on top, and a kill by DeFrange and an ace by Anderson put the Lady Bulldogs up 21-19.
Things went south from there for the Lady Bulldogs as Pottsboro scored on five consecutive Howe errors to eke out the 25-21 win for set and match.
After a trip to Whitesboro on October lst, Howe will travel to Callisburg today to wrap up the first half of district play.
Whitesboro 3, Howe 1.
The Lady Bulldogs’ playoff chances took a hit on Oct. 1 in Whitesboro as the Lady Bearcats took a 3-1 win.
With the one and two spots in the district looking like that are reserved for Pottsboro and Callisburg, Howe, Whitesboro, Whitewright and Bells will be fighting it out for the final two, post-season spots.
The two teams were evenly matched throughout the match; however, the Lady Bulldogs could not get points late in three of the sets to come away with the road win.
Tied at 15,17 and 18-all in the opener, Whitesboro held on for a 25-18 win.
The second set was another back and forth game, as Howe got two winners from Aurian James to tie the set at 10-10. A kill by Morgan Carney gave Howe a 14-12 edge before Whitesboro came back to tie it at 14-all. After another tie at 16-16, the Lady Cats went on a 6-0 run to take the set, 25-20.
The third set was filled with points and controversy as neither team could pull away with a sizable lead.
Howe looked to be in good shape after Kayla Anderson blocked a shot at the net, giving the visitors a 23-19 lead. Her second block gave Howe set point at 24-20, before Whitesboro made a comeback.
The set was tied at 29-29 when Howe sent in a winner and since most volleyball sets end when a team reaches 30, it took a few minutes for the officials to make a decision. Play continued under the must-win-by-two rule and Howe did just that with a 32-30 win.
The Lady Bulldogs could not extend that offensive effort, however, as Whitesboro prevailed 25-21 in the fourth set to take the match.