By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - Harker Heights didn't take advantage of Killeen's 10 missed serves in Game 1.
But after a disappointing first game loss, the Lady Knights gave up little else and took everything they could.
After scoring just four offensive points in the 25-21 Game 1 loss, Heights stormed back to win the final three games, 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 for its eighth win this season Tuesday night.
"We didn't serve well. We weren't moving our feet real well in Game 1, fortunately, that's why we play three out of five," Heights coach Chris Wiley said. "We got back in position, we started moving our feet a lot better, playing good defense and taking our kills when we got them."
Harker Heights (8-5) committed 10 errors in Game 1, including three service mistakes, but found a spark in Game 2 after a kill by Deysia Burden.
Anjane Janda led Heights with seven kills and 21 digs, while Burden had 20 digs and six kills. Burden's mid-Game 2 kill gave Heights a 14-11 lead and was the catalyst of an 8-1 run that included a trio of aces from Jordan Denney.
"We needed some time to warm up and when we're in, we're in, but we just needed to get going," said Janda. "We had our heads in after Game 1 because we knew what to expect and when we found out their weakness, we took it there."
Killeen (5-11), which was led by Mariah Shaw (seven kills, four blocks), jumped out to a 4-1 lead in Game 3 on the shoulders of junior middle blocker Johlicia Williams, who had a kill and a pair of blocks in the game-opening run.
Heights' own junior middle blocker, Darean Bague, answered for the Lady Knights, getting three blocks to go along with a kill from Janda in Heights' 7-1 run that forced Killeen into a timeout, trailing 9-5.
The Lady Roos rallied to make it 12-10, but Harker Heights really turned on its pressure, closing out the game with aces from Janda, Bodie and two from Denney. Killeen finished on the wrong side of the 13-4 run in large part because of six errors, including another missed serve.
After the match, Killeen coach Shelly Harris said only, "It was a bad match."
Williams had four blocks for the Lady Roos, Chelsea Smith had 22 digs and Esha Atkins had 17 assists. Harker Heights' Katie Schulte had 14 assists and Ashlyn Osborne had 13.
The Lady Knights then barely hiccupped in Game 4, jumping out to a 5-1 lead and stretching it 21-11 after Killeen netted the last of its 19 missed serves in the match. But Killeen was far from finished.
Mariah Shaw had four blocks and a kill in a last-ditch 9-2 run that cut the Lady Knights' lead to just two, 23-20. But the Lady Roos committed back-to-back errors - done in at the end by what had plagued them all night - and the Lady Knights again took advantage.
"Anytime you have a rivalry game, it's going to be like that - neither team is going to quit and, at the end, when it seems like it is well under control, is usually the time when it is the least under control," Wiley said. "We fought through the tough spots and when we got our opportunities, we took them."
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.