The 3A state-ranked Brazos Cougarettes took down the 4A El Campo Ladybirds in a hard-fought three sets 25-14, 25-22, 25-22.
The Ladybirds (12-15) in the second and third set executed comebacks and threatened Brazos, but the Cougarettes were able to hold on, down one of their outside hitters.
“I saw that we wanted it. Every set we got better and we were trying to improve every single game,” El Campo coach Brittany Oruonyehu said. “We just kept (battling), there was a fight.”
Brazos laid down kills, but well-placed pushes and tips, hurt the Ladybirds, ultimately keeping them from taking a set, from the 23rd ranked team in 3A.
This is El Campo’s second loss to Brazos this season.
Brazos efficiently took apart El Campo’s defense in the first set with a number of kills. El Campo fought back in the final two sets.
Ladybird freshman Adeline Hundl and senior Ella Jenkins came on strong at the top of the net, blocking shots and slowing down kills giving the defense a chance to keep the ball in play. Hundl and junior Kate Budungen kept El Campo in the game landing kills and offense for the Ladybirds.
The Ladybirds in the final set trailed 20-12. Rather than just letting the game quickly come to an end, the Ladybirds battled pulling even late before ultimately falling.
An unforced error by Brazos broke their momentum, and the Ladybirds capitalized with four straight points.
A Brazos tip, forced an El Campo timeout with them trailing 21-16. El Campo reeled off four more points, which made Brazos call their first timeout of the night.
A Brazos unforced error tied the game at 21-21, but back-to-back Cougarette kills put them back in front by two.
Jenkins landed her own kill to make it 23-22, but Brazos responded with a pair of kills ending the set and the game.
“Tip coverage did kill us, which we will be practicing that, defensively that’s something we’ve just got to overcome,” Oruonyehu said. “We didn’t do so great on blocking and that killed us this game.”
El Campo have a final game with Victoria West, before starting district play next Tuesday.