LAMPASAS — The Lampasas Lady Badgers know finishing games are important, but in volleyball slow starts can negate strong ends. 

Despite hard rallies in Games 2-4, the Lampasas Lady Badgers fell to the Burnet Lady Bulldawgs 19-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20 on Tuesday at Lampasas High.

Senior middle blocker Madi Phillips had 10 kills and three blocks while junior setter Blake Webb added 16 assists for the Lady Badgers (10-22, 0-8 District 8-3A).

“We battled, but we get ourselves in such a hole that it’s hard to keep coming back from four, five or more points down,” Lampasas coach Kecia Davis said.

Kara Gillis finished with a team-best 16 kills while Marisa Maldonado led the Lady Badgers with three aces and Nola Bishop had a strong defensive match with 27 digs.

The Lady Badgers celebrated Parent and Senior Night before the match and Phillips, the lone senior, was given a bright orange beanbag chair and other gifts.

Phillips has been playing on the team for about two weeks since missing a month of the season with an abdominal tear.

“I’m going to put it in my room and when volleyball’s over, I’m going to relax for months on end,” Phillips said.

After winning the first game, Lampasas dug itself a 16-14 hole in Game 2, but miscues by Burnet (12-12, 5-3) turned some of the momentum around.

After a Burnet serving then attacking error, Cassie Stulz’s kill forced a Burnet timeout. Although Maldonado cut the Lady Dawg lead to 24-22, Burnet’s Madison Hall put down the final point Burnet needed to take a 2-1 lead.

“We fought pretty hard, we just came up short, unfortunately,” Gillis said.

The Lady Badgers went through their first attempted comeback in Game 3 after Burnet took a 23-17 lead.

Webb’s kill sparked a 6-1 Lampasas run that got the Lady Badgers to within 24-23 of Burnet, but an attacking error on the next point gave the Lady Dawgs two games to one lead.

With Burnet leading Game 4 22-14, Gillis put away a kill from the left side that sparked a 5-0 Lampasas lead, but Burnet was able to hold on for the five-point win.

The opening frame was in stark contrast to the other three with Lampasas pulling ahead early and scoring the final three points of the match to take a 25-19 win.

Lampasas is no longer in playoff contention and hosts Brownwood on Friday.

“We can play spoiler for the last two matches that we have,” Davis said.

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