Copperas Cove vs Ellison
October 21, 2009
Lady Dawgs get by Ellison in 3 games Posted On: Wednesday, Oct. 21 2009 04:24 AMBy Angel Verdejo
Killeen Daily Herald


COPPERAS COVE – The way the Copperas Cove fans were cheering late Tuesday, trying to will the Lady Bulldawgs to a win, it would have seemed if Cove was fighting through the fifth game of a long, drawn-out, back-and-forth match.

It wasn't that – Cove knocked off Ellison in a three-game sweep (25-18, 25-11, 26-24) – but it wasn't an easy sweep.

"I felt this coming," Cove coach Cari Lowery said. "We've played three really great matches in a row, Friday, Tuesday, Friday. There has to be a little bit of a letdown."

Cove came in beating likely playoff teams Bryan and Belton, and Harker Heights in between going into Tuesday. The Dawgs already swept Ellison this season and had the pomp and circumstance of senior night as well.

As far as the volleyball, the Lady Dawgs were drawn into Ellison's more chaotic style of play, in addition to numerous hitting errors. The Lady Eagles kept rallies alive, staying with Cove through much of the first and last games.

"They did an awesome job compared to how we've been playing," Ellison coach Cari Nanna said. "We're definitely trying to turn the end of the season around. Whether or not its with a win or a loss, they're coming out and playing harder than they have been."

The Lady Dawgs (29-8) remain in second place in District 12-5A, improving to 9-3 while Ellison (6-26) falls to 1-11.

Cove stayed a few points ahead of Ellison through most of game three, but an Amanda Cruddas service ace followed by a Lady Dawg hitting error put the Lady Eagles up 20-19 and forced a Cove timeout. Three more hitting errors over the next four points gave Ellison a three point lead and forced Lowery to call a second timeout.

That second timeout did the trick.

Cove put away consecutive shots, with Amy Rosenbaum setting shots to Jessica Williams and Michelle Blount. Ellison's Desiree Wylie and Ocleta Young blocked a third kill, but Cove got the next point to get within one, 24-23.

"Ellison and us play such polar opposite styles of volleyball that there's no rhyme or rhythm or reason in that game right there. There was zero rhythm - just randomness coming back and we started playing that with them instead of playing our game until the very last minute when we had to step up and play. Then it's like, 'Where have we been?'"

Nanna called a timeout, but it didn't stop Cove's hitters. An Amy Moore kill tied the game and Kelly Kearns gave the Lady Dawgs match point. Blount ended it, putting away a loose ball at the net.

"I tried to tell them that we had to get back into our game, our structured game where we're running an offense," Lowery said. "We play little tippy-tat, pity-pat in the middle with them, and they won that every time because that's what they do. We ended up playing little stuff with them right in the middle, and that's where they live."

The same happened in the opener despite Cove keeping a four- or five-point lead throughout the game. The Lady Eagles made three errors in the first six points, but were able to find their shots, either getting kills of sets or putting away loose balls at the net. It wasn't the same in a one-sided second game, as Cove quickly jumped out to a 9-3 lead, only to extend it to double digits with its hitting and serving (three services aces).

Megan McKinnon led Ellison with five kills, while Wylie added four kills and a team-best four blocks.

Cove's Phyllicia Cross had 11 kills and 15 digs, while Moore and Teneshia Abney adding 17 and 15 digs, respectively. Blount (seven solo blocks) and Williams (three) led the defense at the net.

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