Two lopsided wins did not excite Killeen volleyball coach Shelly Harris as much as the Lady Roos’ rally in Game 3.
Killeen rallied from a six-point deficit and completed a season-opening sweep of Bosqueville at the Killeen gym on Tuesday.
“We’re super young. Who knows what the season holds, but to pull it together and finish that off, that’s something we’ve struggled with in the past, so I’m really proud that we pulled it together and got it over with,” Harris said.
The Lady Roos (1-0) won the first two games 25-15 and 25-14 before scoring 14 of the final 20 points to win Game 3 25-23.
Chalon Anderson, one of only two seniors on the team, had six kills, and Juquana Wilson and Sabrina Garcia each had four. Sophomore setter Madison Sapp, who has the unenviable role of replacing four-year starter Esha Atkins, finished with 15 assists, including six in Game 3. Wilson also had a team-high three aces and freshman Katherine Hensley had three blocks.
“Our setter, Madison, she’s doing a great job at setter and we’re all getting used to her sets,” Anderson said. “Our middle, Juquana, she was getting kills, our right side was getting kills, I was getting kills, back row was getting kills. We’re coming together as a team.”
Anderson drilled a back-row kill and Garcia, a junior, hit consecutive aces to start the Lady Roos’ run in Game 3. After a Bosqueville timeout, a Killeen hitting error gave the Lady Bulldogs an 18-14 lead, but junior Kiana Ware served seven straight points and Bosqueville imploded down the stretch.
The Lady Bulldogs committed five straight errors that helped Killeen take its first lead of the game, 19-18, and Anderson scored on a kill and a block for a 21-18 lead.
A misfired set by Sapp tied the game at 22 before a Killeen timeout, but Bosqueville made consecutive serve-receive errors for a Killeen match point. Sapp and Wilson couldn’t connect on a well-designed play that pulled the Lady Bulldogs within 24-23, but a final error by Bosqueville gave the Lady Roos an opening-day win.
“We needed it, to say the least,” Harris said. “I think it’s going to be huge. I think it starts us out on a good roll. I always put us in extremely difficult tournaments just trying to get them to see that there is a very high level of play that we need to be at, but it’s always good to come out and start with a win.”
Killeen was maybe not as dominant in Games 1 and 2 as the score indicated. In both games, the Lady Roos took sizable early leads, but failed to completely shut the door on Bosqueville until a late-game surge.
Killeen scored nine of the final 12 points in Game 1 after Bosqueville cut a six-point Lady Roos’ lead to three. The Lady Roos then scored 13 of the final 17 points of Game 2 after the Lady Bulldogs cut another 6-point lead to just two.
“As it progressed, we got a little more comfortable,” Sapp said. “We weren’t used to having all these people out, because usually it’s like a lesser crowd, but we just got used to each other and the more we had a lead, the more we got confident and that’s what made it easier.”