During Game 3 of Killeen’s home opener against Robinson on Tuesday night, the gym was buzzing and the Lady Kangaroos were on practically every loose ball, up on every kill attempt and ready to block anything that came to their side of the net.
Unfortunately, the start to the match was their undoing.
Despite a late rally, the Lady Roos fell to the Lady Rockets 3-0 (25-12, 25-9, 25-23).
“Robinson has a great program,” Killeen head coach Joanne Knowles said. “If we played every set like we played the third set, we’d be much better off. That’s something we’re going to work on, coming out 100 percent.”
Sabrina Garcia led Killeen with eight kills and seven digs while junior setter Crystal Innocent had 16 assists. Kiana Ware had a strong game defensively with six digs for the Lady Roos (3-8).
“We kind of psyched ourselves out,” junior outside hitter Carmen Williams said. “It was a home game, people are here, our parents, and it was a lot to take in. We did psych ourselves out.”
The Lady Roos struggled in the first two games as Robinson used an 8-1 run to take hold of Game 1, and a 7-1 run to take control of Game 2.
Killeen fell behind 9-5 in Game 3, but the match was far from over. Junior middle blocker Nadia Richardson put down a loud spike from the middle of the net to give the Lady Roos new life.
“What we want to do is encourage people,” senior defensive specialist Elizabeth Rorick said. “Even if it’s not something big, it’s still a point, it’s still something they accomplished so we want to cheer on our teammates.”
From there, the Lady Rockets didn’t lead by more than three points and a Robinson serving error helped Killeen score four straight points and take a 20-18 lead in Game 3. Garcia followed with two late spikes to give Killeen a 23-21 lead and force a Lady Rockets’ time out.
“We picked it up on defense,” Knowles said. “We started moving more, moving together, basically defensively we stepped up in the third set.”
But Robinson closed out the sweep with a 4-0 run capped by a Brittnie Dunn ace.
Richardson finished the match with four kills while Williams added three.
Killeen travels to Cedar Creek for a tournament beginning on Thursday.