LAMPASAS — They knew there would be an adjustment period.
There always is when a team has a new head coach.
But after defeating the Troy Trojanettes on Tuesday night in four games, 26-24, 23-25, 25-14, 25-15, it seems that it is coming together for the Lampasas Lady Badger volleyball team.
“They’ve played together more and are in a routine,” said head coach Kecia Davis. “(We have) more of a team effort in the weight room and class time. We’ve had time to do some team bonding.”
Lampasas senior Madi Phillips added: “We’ve been working off the court, too. We came together as a family to try and pull through.”
Phillips combined with fellow seniors Jenna Jenkins and Shayna Perry to lead Lampasas (8-10) to its second straight win. After winning Game 1 and holding a 17-9 lead in Game 2, the Lady Badgers hit the ball out of bounds on back-to-back attempts and their lead shrank to 17-11.
Troy sophomore Brooke Parcus added two kills and a net serve by Jenkins made it 17-14. Parcus eventually helped her squad pull even with Lampasas with four straight serves that ended in points for the Trojanettes, the final serve being an ace.
Lampasas still held the lead with a 23-22 advantage but was unable to hold it due to a net hit, a lift penalty and finally a hit out. Troy (5-13) stole the game and seemingly the momentum.
“The first two games we were kind of thinking (that) we don’t have to work that hard because we were winning most of the time,” Jenkins said. “But when we lost that second game, we knew we had to pick it up.”
They did. Lampasas never trailed in Game 3.
Phillips slammed home one of her six kills to go with her five blocks to make the score 15-8 and Perry stepped in to serve. Six points later, the Lady Badgers held a 21-8 lead. During the stretch, Phillips had an assist and a block stuff, while Jenkins contributed a kill. Perry ended the streak with an ace.
“We have a pretty well-rounded bunch of girls and I expect them to know every position so they can understand what’s going on during the flow of the game,” Davis said. “There is still a lot we can improve on.”
Game 4 was just as lopsided, but it didn’t start that way. The Trojanettes held an early 6-3 lead, but a back-row serve by Troy’s Halie McNamara closed the gap to 6-4.
Again Phillips stepped up for her squad. A two-point deficit quickly turned into an 8-6 Lampasas lead due to two Trojan errors and a kill each by Megan Roberts and Ashlyn Theus.
The teams traded points until they reached 13-11, with the Lady Badgers leading the way. Kills by Phillips and Roberts along with back-to-back aces by Perry made it 15-11.
“We hate going to five games, so we wanted to stop it at four so we were thinking that we gotta push hard,” said Jenkins, who had nine kills, 15 assists and 22 digs for Lampasas.
Davis saw an inexperienced group start to form an identity.
“Their confidence is building the more they play together and they are starting to buy into what I am telling them,” Davis said. “That will be the key for us to beat some teams and play the dark horse in district.”