LAMPASAS — It is a good thing school is back in session because Kecia Davis believes her players have a lot to learn.
Lampasas led only momentarily Tuesday evening as Lago Vista took control early and never relinquished it, cruising to a 25-21, 25-16, 25-17 victory. It was the fifth loss in six matches for the Lady Badgers, who opened the season with a 4-1 record, causing Lampasas’ second-year coach to question her team’s collective determination.
“Maybe it was because it is the second day of school, but we just lacked that fire, passion and ability,” Davis said. “We have to learn to fight through the mental portion because I think that has a lot to do with it.”
The Lady Badgers showed sparks of momentum at moments during the match, but it was usually after things were out of hand.
After claiming an early 2-1 lead to start the first set and then leading again at 3-2, the Lady Badgers lost 13 of the next 15 points to fall into a 10-point hole. With the team’s lone senior Madi Phillips recording consecutive scoring blocks to help guide the way, Lampasas pulled within four points at 17-13, but Lago Vista responded with a run to push its lead to 24-16.
Again, however, the Lady Badgers (5-6) would string together some defense, thwarting five set points before eventually succumbing to Lago Vista.
The Lady Vikings constructed a 12-6 lead to start the second set, increasing it to 19-11, and Lampasas could only alternate points with Lago Vista for the duration of the set.
“They were just playing smart and knowing where to put the ball,” Phillips said. “Then they were picking everything up even when we were trying to trash them.”
The third set was equally lopsided after the Lady Vikings (11-1) erased a 4-0 deficit with a 19-5 run.
“We got a little fired up in the second set and at the start of the third set,” Davis said, “but (it didn’t last).”
Lampasas’ early outburst to begin the set was one of only five times when the Lady Badgers scored three or more consecutive points. Lago Vista compiled 11 such streaks.
“I know we could have done better,” said Phillips, who posted a team-high two blocks said. “We just kind of got down on ourselves and didn’t expect much.”
Junior outside hitters Kara Gillis and Ashlyn Theus led the team with five kills and two aces, respectively, while setters Nola Bishop and Blake Webb finished with seven assists each. Webb also added eight digs, tying her with Theus for team-high honors.
The Lady Badgers have only seven players on their roster this season, and three have no varsity experience prior to this year.
“We’ve just got to learn to keep pushing through even when it gets tough,” Davis said. “Just being so young and not so experienced, that is still affecting us in a bad way.”