HARKER HEIGHTS — The Lady Knights faced an uphill battle Friday evening as they played host to the 10th-ranked Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs.
The Lady Bulldawgs won in straight sets, 25-12, 25-18, 25-14, behind 14 kills from Qiana Canete and 23 digs from Lexi Perez.
Jumping out to an 8-3 lead in the opening game, the Lady Bulldawgs (28-6, 3-0) began to pull away slowly but confidently against inexperienced Heights. A timeout by Lady Knights head coach Chris Wiley led to two quick points, and it briefly appeared as if Heights could hold its own against the veteran squad.
However, sloppy and inconsistent play doomed the Lady Knights (10-14, 0-3), with the Cove crew capitalizing on each and every mistake. With a 17-7 run, Cove won the first set 25-12, and took that early momentum with them throughout the entire match.
“I thought we played pretty well tonight,” said Wiley. “We made some simple mistakes that you can’t do against a team like Copperas Cove. They are ranked 10th in the state for a reason.”
Heights looked like a different team in a back-and-forth second set. Knights junior Karrissa Heagans connected on a huge kill to cut the Cove lead to 20-18. With momentum on their side, Heights senior Amanda Bailey slid perfectly for a dig that ignited not only the Harker Heights bench, but also the quiet gym.
Unfortunately for Bailey and the Lady Knights, the dig proved to be unsuccessful as Copperas Cove’s Bryaunea Hall returned with a kill that not only won the Lady Bulldawgs the point, but ignited a 4-0 run to close the Knights out 25-18.
Much like the first set, the Lady Bulldawgs controlled every minute of the third. Harker Heights fell behind 20-9 and never managed to gain enough control to put together a run. Copperas Cove closed the set 25-14, sweeping the Lady Knights, and continuing their dominant play against district foes.
“We had some opportunities that second game and those late mistakes absolutely killed us,” said Wiley. “But I’ve got to give credit to Cove, we probably could of played our best game tonight and they would still be a tough team to beat.”
Copperas Cove takes their five-game winning streak on the road for a district match against Belton on Tuesday, while Harker Heights host Shoemaker.