SALADO — The Salado Eagles defeated the Taylor Lady Ducks 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 15-25, 15-13 in front of a raucous crowd at the Salado High School gym. The match proved critical as the Eagles improved to 3-1 in District 27-4A play.

After dropping sets three and four, coach Kristi Wilk told her team that it was a brand-new game.

“I just told them that at this point it’s 0-0,” Wilk said. “The first two games didn’t matter. … The second set of two games didn’t matter; now we have to play for 15 points.”

Wilk said her team played strong in the first two sets and then panicked in the fourth after allowing Taylor to take the third. She said the team was still inexperienced and was trying to find its groove together.

“There’s only two girls on the roster that were varsity players last year,” Wilk said. “They’re a lot of fun; they’re a great group of girls. And on nights like this, you really love them.”

Wilk said the key to her team’s win was its serving. An ace by Reece Preston to begin the first set was the first of many for the Eagles. Later in the first set, Salado got an ace from Landry Rogers. Five of Rogers’ seven total aces came in the second set. Amy Manning recorded an ace to end the match. Other players to record an ace for the Eagles were Breigh Oliver, Erin Faske and Reagan Thrasher.

Rogers was also the top hitter for the Eagles. She led the team with 17 kills. Thrasher added five kills. Lainey Taylor and Lorena Perez both recorded three kills apiece. Others to tally kills for Salado were Preston, Oliver and Manning.

Salado finishes the first half of 27-4A play Friday at Burnet. The varsity match is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

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