TEMPLE — Copperas Cove proved why it’s the No. 6-ranked volleyball team in the state as the Lady Bulldawgs kept Temple winless in District 8-5A with a 25-7, 25-6, 25-9 victory over the Tem-Cats on Tuesday night.
“We’re always happy for a win,” Copperas Cove coach Cari Lowery said. “We’re glad that one’s over with. I feel like my kids played pretty good and stayed pretty focused for the entire game.”
Qiana Canete led Cove with 14 kills. Bryaunea Hall added 10 kills and six blocks.
Copperas Cove (32-6, 8-0) dominated the first set, grabbing a quick 6-0 lead behind the serving of junior setter Mikayla Blount. The teams traded points from there, but with the Lady Dawgs up 15-6, Cove scored 10 of the game’s last 11 points en route to the 25-7 win.
“We played pretty aggressively and did some things we’d been working on,” Lowery said.
Temple (4-28, 0-8) started off strong in the second game, taking a quick 2-0 lead, which drew cheers from the home crowd. Cove responded, though, taking five straight points to grab the lead and retake the momentum.
After the Tem-Cats cut the Lady Bulldawgs’ lead to 6-4, Cove scored seven straight points to take a 13-4 advantage. Temple then scored two of the next three points to make it 14-6, but the Lady Dawgs scored the set’s final 11 points for the 25-6 win.
“I think you saw that if we pass the ball and we set the ball, that we can play with a team like that,” first-year Temple coach Tim McDonald said. “I’m not saying we’re necessarily going to win or dominate a team like that, but we certainly are better than we played if we can pass the ball from the back row. That was the story of the night: we could not pass the ball.”
The Tem-Cats showed some more competitiveness in the third game. Temple took an early 1-0 lead, then grabbed the lead on two other occasions during the game, at 3-2 on a block by Tiffany Mays and at 5-3. Cove then scored 10 straight points to take a 13-5 lead. Up 17-7, the Lady Bulldawgs scored eight of the final 10 points to take the game 25-9 and sweep the match.
“All wins are good wins. We just want to keep going, keep getting better and keep winning,” Lowery said. “The kids that get the big kills, they always get the accolades. But it really takes every piece of the puzzle to fall into place. Our passing was good, our defense looked pretty good, we served well, so I’m proud of all of them.”