TEMPLE — The Killeen Lady Kangaroos haven’t officially clinched a playoff spot, but team captain Chalon Anderson knows that the last five matches of the season are just as important as any postseason contest.
“We know that these next few games count so we’re going into all of them with a play-to-win and don’t-get-scared attitude,” Anderson said. “We’re not afraid to get knocked out of the playoffs, but we’ll be really excited if we get into the playoffs.”
After a sluggish first game, the Lady Roos (12-11, 5-5 District 8-5A) found their form and took a four-game match from the Tem-Cats (4-30, 0-10) 27-29, 25-12, 25-21, 25-12. Killeen has won three straight matches.
Anderson added to her team-leading kills and digs totals with 19 and seven while libero Kiana Ware added nine digs and an ace.
Killeen entered the night one game behind Ellison for the fourth and final playoff spot out of the district and two games ahead of sixth-place Shoemaker. The loss officially eliminated the Tem-Cats from playoff contention.
“That’s the whole reason you play, make the playoffs and move on,” Killeen coach Shelly Harris said.
Killeen led the opening frame by as many as eight points and seemed in control with a 19-14 advantage, but then Temple found a groove and took advantage of Lady Roo errors.
Killeen committed three attacking, two service errors and allowed two aces in the rest of Game 1.
“We thought that we could just come in here and take the game because we won the first time,” Ware said about Game 1. “In Game 2, everybody stepped up and we did what we had to do. We definitely took it as a wakeup call.”
Killeen controlled the tempo the rest of the match. The Lady Roos outscored the Tem-Cats 75-45 and trailed only twice the rest of the match.
Sophomore Madison Sapp was Killeen’s top helper with 26 assists and had four aces while junior Sabrina Garcia led the Lady Roo defense with 11 digs.
With Killeen leading Game 2 22-12, Anderson made sure the Lady Roos would take their first game with a pair of big spikes from the left side that forced game point.
“I just decided that I needed to take one big swing,” Anderson said. “The set was perfect, so I just got on top and it went down.”
Although the Lady Roos scored 14 of the first 21 points in Game 2, they had to withstand a 5-0 Tem-Cat run that got them within two points of Killeen.
The Lady Roos led by as many as 12 points in Game 4 and clinched the match on three consecutive aces from Sapp.
Killeen looks to make it four wins in a row on Friday when it hosts district co-leader Waco Midway. Midway swept Killeen on Sept. 24.