SALADO — Most of the players and coaches on the Salado Lady Eagles could agree that the communication, effort and overall fight during their rematch against Rogers was better than the first time the teams played on Sept. 24. 

Unfortunately for Salado, the result was different this time.

Despite 11 kills by Cheyenne Vaca and 25 assists from Meagan Hill, Salado dropped a four-set match to Rogers 22-25, 25-23, 24-26, 18-25 at the Salado gym.

“I’m very proud of my team,” Salado coach Tara Hatfield said. “I think they held in there, I think they stayed together.”

The loss keeps Salado (10-16, 5-6 District 22-2A) one game behind Little River-Academy for the fourth and final playoff spot out of District 22-2A with three games remaining in the season.

“We have the team to go to the playoffs and make it far,” said senior outside hitter and team captain Shyenne Hicks. “We just have to win out and hope for anything to happen.”

Hicks finished the match with four kills, two aces and a team-best 13 digs.

Salado won the first match between the teams 25-18, 21-25, 25-17, 17-25, 15-5 on Sept. 24 in Rogers.

The first and third set proved to be crucial in the match as Salado let a six-point lead get away from them in Set 1 then almost overcame the same deficit in Set 2.

With Salado leading Set 1 18-12, a spike by Rogers’ Madison Malcik sparked an 11-4 Rogers run that gave the other Lady Eagles a 23-22 lead. Rogers would score the final two points of the set after a Salado timeout.

“We had one little error and we got down on ourselves,” Hill said.

After a timeout in Set 3, a Hicks spike in the middle of the offensive zone got Salado back on track and took a lot of momentum when three straight points by Hill cut the Rogers lead to 21-20.

Salado was able to tie the set at 22, 23, and 24 points apiece, but Abigail Patterson and Kylie Klaus closed out the set with consecutive points.

Klaus proved to be difficult to handle up front as the left-side hitter finished the match with 17 kills and five blocks.

“It was hard to react to what she did,” Hill said about Klaus. “She’s a smart player. When we finally got the block, she would hit around it. It was hard to change what we were doing.”

Salado took a lead at 1-0 and 2-1 of the fourth set, but Rogers settled in and led by as many as eight points.

The Lady Eagles took a lead early in Set 2 and didn’t look back. Taylor Atwood put down a point that tied the game at 1-1 then an attacking error gave Salado a lead in the game that it would not relinquish.

Vaca dropped a spike in front of Malcik to force game point at 24-21, then a Jaylee Sebek spike clinched the game three points later.

Salado has lost three of its last four matches, but looks to rebound Tuesday when it visits Cameron Yoe.

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