Injuries continue to take their toll on the Howe Lady Bulldog volleyball team as, for the second consecutive match, a starter is on the sidelines.
Senior Hailey DeFrange was unavailable for Friday night’s District 11-2A opener as the Lady Bulldogs dropped a thriller to Whitewright, 3-1.
Three of the four sets were down-to-the wire finishes and two went overtime as the two teams got their league season’s underway.
Howe got off to a positive start in the first set as Riley Harvey, who was unavailable in the Aubrey match, bumped home a winner from the back row.
A Whitewright error and a service winner by Morgan Carney gave Howe a 3-0 lead.
The Lady Tigers came right back, tying the set and the two schools were never separated by more than three points for the remainder of the set.
An ace by Christina Counts gave Howe a 13-12 lead and after the visitors had ran off three straight points, Tiffany Lallier sent in a kill to stop that run.
Blocks by Harvey and Tori Abner kept the set close and Harvey’s throw-down of a soft return by the Lady Tigers tied the set at 19 each.
Whitewright took the lead at 24-22, looking for the set point, but a kill by Carney and a Whitewright miss deadlocked the set at 24.
Abner’s ace gave Howe a shot at the win, but the Lady Tigers rebounded to take the opening set, 28-26.
Whitewright’s Sydney Brummett dominated play in the second set as the Lady Tigers never trailed in their 25-18 win. Brummett finished the match with 15 kills.
The third set reverted to earlier form as neither team could draw away.
Early in the set, freshman Kayla Anderson got her first varsity kill to give Howe a 9-7 lead.
Whitewright went on a run,fueled by the play of Brummett and Anna Shope, taking a 17-12 lead.
Howe came roaring back with a 5-0 run, started by a combo block by Lallier and Carney.
Harvey sent in a cross-court kill and Carney’s ace, followed by a pair of Whitewright miscues, tied the set at 17-17.
An ace by Alissa Smith gave Howe a 19-18 lead before the two teams were tied at 20,21,and 22 each.
Anderson’s third kill of the match forged that final tie before two Lady Tiger miscues and a winner by Carney gave Howe the 25-23 win.
The two teams battled evenly throughout the fourth set as Lallier and Harvey were doing a lot of the offensive work for Howe.
After a kill by Carney and a miss by Whitewright, the two were tied at 24,25 and 26-all.
An error by the Lady Bulldogs and Brummett’s cross-court winner gave Whitewright the set and match as they take their second 28-26 win of the night.
Howe travels to Sadler Friday to take on the Lady Rams as loop play continues.