After winning 11 consecutive matches to start the season, Copperas Cove experienced its first loss of the season at the worst possible time.
Playing in the championship bracket of the Austin ISD Invitational, the Lady Bulldawgs continued their winning ways by beating Hutto and Austin Bowie in straight sets. But in the title match, Austin Anderson rallied from a loss in the first set to beat Copperas Cove 22-25, 25-23, 25-22 and win the 24-team tournament.
Not only was it the first time the Lady Bulldawgs lost a match, Anderson is the only team this season to win a set against Copperas Cove.
Despite the defeat, three Lady Bulldawgs landed on the all-tournament team as middle blocker Qiana Canete, setter Mikayla Blount and defensive specialist Destiny Henderson were each recognized after producing impressive showings in the finals.
Against Anderson, Canete finished with 37 kills, 11 digs and eight blocks, while Blount had 30 assists and 18 digs. Henderson added 23 digs and two aces.
Copperas Cove began the day by beating Hutto 28-26, 25-14 behind a team-high 10 kills from Canete. Blount (14), Henderson (11) and junior libero Lily Drever (17) each finished with double-digit digs in the win.
The victory advanced the Lady Bulldawgs into the semifinals against Bowie, and they claimed a 25-23, 25-21 win as Canete recorded 13 kills. Blount, who finished with five kills, and Destinee Branch and Bryaunea Hall, who added three kills apiece, complemented the senior offensively.
The Lady Bulldawgs will look to begin a new winning streak at home Monday against Stony Point.
Heights loses 2 more: At Garland, the Lady Knights continued to struggle as they dropped two games in the Garland tournament. Harker Heights lost 25-23, 25-3 to Richardson Berkner and 25-19, 25-12 to Carthage. Kathleen Janda and Karli Rodriguez led the Lady Knights with five kills each. Rodriguez led with five blocks and Breanna Gelsinger has 11 assists. Tracy Campbell had 14 digs.
Killeen beats Shoemaker, falls in bronze title match: At Austin, District 8-5A foes Killeen and Shoemaker had an early-season encounter at the Austin ISD Invitational, where the Lady Kangaroos earned a victory over their rival before losing in the bronze bracket final.
Killeen (6-4) knocked off the Lady Grey Wolves 29-27, 25-17 to start the day, advancing to beat Akins 25-19, 22-25, 25-21 in the semifinals. But the run came to an end in a 25-17, 23-25, 25-20 loss against Kyle Lehman, sending the Lady Kangaroos to a 16th-place finish. Shoemaker (4-5) finished one spot behind Killeen after rebounding from its loss to the Lady Kangaroos with a 25-21, 25-19 win against Austin Crockett in the bronze bracket consolation match.
Ellison beats Gatesville again, wins bronze: At Round Rock, it happened again.
For the fourth time since Monday, Ellison and Gatesville were matched up on the court, and for the third consecutive time, the Lady Eagles earned a victory. This time, however, they received an accolade for their performance.
Competing in the bronze bracket at the Westwood Warrior Showcase, both teams claimed a pair of straight-set victories in the best-of-three format to advance to the championship match. And just like each of the previous two days, when Ellison defeated the Lady Hornets in pool play, the Lady Eagles capped off an undefeated day by beating Gatesville 25-19, 25-21.
The victory marked the seventh consecutive win for Ellison (7-3) stretching back to Thursday, when the Lady Eagles ended the tournament’s first day with a win against Gatesville. Ellison lost a five-set heartbreaker to the Lady Hornets at home in the season opener, but have not lost to Gatesville since.
Ellison worked its way into the title match by beating Laredo Nixon 25-21, 25-23 to start the day before eliminating St. Dominic Savio 25-21, 25-22. Prior to falling to the Lady Eagles, St. Dominic Savio beat Temple 25-16, 25-11 in the Tem-Cats’ lone match of the day.
Brianna Gray led Ellison with 20 total kills and six blocks while Asia Howard and Miranda Tapia led with 31 and 29 assists, respectively.
On the opposite side of the bracket, Gatesville (5-5) opened its run with a 25-18, 25-16 victory against TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas and followed it up by defeating Llano 25-19, 25-17 to set up its showdown with Ellison.
Lampasas loses twice to end run: At Copperas Cove, Lampasas followed up a successful Friday with a pair of loses Saturday to wrap up the Copperas Cove tournament.
The Lady Badgers opened the day with a 25-10, 25-15 loss to the Lady Bulldawgs’ junior varsity team and followed it up with a straight-set loss to Plainview, falling 25-10, 26-24.
Lampasas split its first two games of the tournament and won the only game it played Friday, beating Plainview 25-23, 25-22 after receiving a forfeit victory against Waco.
The Lady Badgers (4-3) play next on Tuesday in a dual match against Killeen and Johnson City beginning at 4 p.m.