By TONY EIERDAM
KENNEDALE – With an inexperienced team and a squad that had to replace 11 seniors from last year’s area-championship qualifiers, going in to Kennedale’s gym and facing the Lady Kats can be a tough task.
But for the second match in a row between the Mineral Wells Lady Rams and Kennedale, the Lady Rams came out swinging and did not back down.
However – and you can call it growing pains if you will – Kennedale prevailed, but it wasn’t easy on the second-place Lady Kats.
Paced by hitters Maggie Pyles and Rachel Dixon, who combined for 25 kills, the Lady Kats slipped past the Lady Rams, 25-14, 25-20, 25-19 here Tuesday night in a District 6-3A match.
Pyles led all hitters with 15 kills while Dixon added 10 stoppers. Brittany Guill led the Lady Rams with six kills, with Ashley Valdez adding four.
Kennedale came out strong with an 11-point win in the opening game of the best-of-five match, but the Lady Rams got stronger as the match wore on.
But Kennedale’s net play and experience came through at the end of the second and third games.
“We just started working together as a cohesive unit in the second and third games,” Lady Rams head coach Taylor Eggleston said. “We were also communicating much better.
“We worked on a lot of (defensive) things in practice (on Monday) that I hoped would translate and carry over to this game, but I didn’t see those things carry over.
“We missed getting some touches on a lot of balls Kennedale sent down, and we did that in practice but not in this match. I felt like we let some balls hit the floor that we were picking up in practice.
“But I also felt in the second and third games we eliminated a lot of mistakes we made in game one. But it still wasn’t enough (to win the match).