COPPERAS COVE — The streak is over.
For nearly two years, Copperas Cove dominated its district. After finishing second to Waco Midway in the 2016 standings, the Lady Bulldawgs embarked on an impressive run, winning 17 consecutive district matches.
Tuesday, however, it ended.
The Pantherettes upset the Class 6A No. 5 Lady Bulldawgs in a five-set thriller, winning 25-22, 17-25, 19-25, 26-24, 15-13 and snapping Copperas Cove’s 12-match win streak.
Along with the defeat, the Lady Bulldawgs lost hope of potentially repeating as undefeated district champions, falling half a game behind Midway in the District 12-6A standings.
The outcome could have easily been reversed, though.
In the opening set, neither team could capture the momentum, exchanging runs and going back and forth until the Pantherettes closed the set with a 6-1 outburst. It was the first time Copperas Cove lost a set since Aug. 18.
The Lady Bulldawgs rebounded in the second set as senior Aidan Chace posted the first two points with consecutive kills, and Copperas Cove opened a 10-2 advantage Midway could not overcome.
With momentum hanging in the balance, the teams played to a 14-14 tie in the third set, but Copperas Cove used a run of six unanswered points to propel it to a 2-1 lead in the match.
But it did not last.
After falling into a 20-14 deficit, the Pantherettes rallied, thwarting four match points en route to forcing a tiebreaker. Then, in the fifth set, they did it again, denying the Lady Bulldawgs three more match points before securing the upset with an ace.
Although Copperas Cove (29-2, 5-1) was stunned, it was not shocking.
Each of the Lady Bulldawgs’ wins against Midway last season occurred in five-set affairs, and the Pantherettes were responsible for Copperas Cove’s last district loss on Oct. 18, 2016.
The teams play again Oct. 12 at Midway.
With the victory, the Pantherettes (20-12, 5-0) move to the top of the district standings, while the Lady Bulldawgs fall to second place.
Copperas Cove will look to return to its winning ways Friday, when it travels to face Belton at 5:30 p.m.
TUESDAY'S 12-6A VOLLEYBALL
- Ellison def. Shoemaker 25-23, 25-21, 25-14
- Harker Heights def. Waco 25-11, 25-8, 25-13
- Temple def. Killeen 25-18, 25-11, 25-15
- Waco Midway def. No. 5 Copperas Cove 25-22, 17-25, 19-25, 26-24, 15-13
- BYE: Belton
- No. 5 Copperas Cove at Belton, 5:30 p.m.
- Harker Heights at Temple, 5:30 p.m.
- Waco at Ellison, 5:30 p.m.
- Waco Midway at Killeen, 5:30 p.m.
- BYE: Shoemaker