Copperas Cove vs Temple (12 Kills, 6 Blocks)
October 29, 2009
'Cats Cooled: Lady Dawgs rally from 2-0 deficit Posted On: Wednesday, Oct. 28 2009 04:12 AMBy Angel Verdejo
Killeen Daily Herald


TEMPLE – From start to finish Tuesday night, Temple looked and played like a team fighting for its playoff life, which the Tem-Cats were.

Lose at home Tuesday and there was a chance Temple's season would have ended.

On the other side, Copperas Cove looked and played like a team that knew it was already headed to the playoffs and guaranteed at least one more match.

At least for the opening two games.

The Lady Bulldawgs rallied from an 0-2 deficit, winning the five-game thriller against Temple 19-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-13.

Cove (31-8) already had second place locked up going into Tuesday, and finished 11-3 in District 12-5A behind A&M Consolidated (14-0). The top-seeded Lady Tigers extended their district win streak to 41 consecutive matches with a win Tuesday over Bryan (8-6), which along with Cove's win over Temple (8-6) put both losers in a tie for fourth place. Belton (9-5) took the third spot with a sweep over Shoemaker.

Temple and Bryan split their season series and face off either Friday or Saturday at a place to be determined to decide the 12-5A fourth seed.

Cove will face Mesquite Horn, which finished third in 11-5A, for the second straight season to open the playoffs. The bi-district playoff is tentatively set for Tuesday night in Waco High.

"Temple played a great match all the way through," Cove coach Cari Lowery said. "They wanted it. It was important to them and they played like it.

"In Game 1 and 2, we did not."

The Tem-Cats (21-16) set the tempo right from the start, winning the match's first five points on a pair of blocks from Kaitlin Muniz and Faith Thompson and three Cove errors. Temple stayed in front with its hitting while Cove's defense had little answer in the first two games. The Tem-Cats continually hit around the Lady Dawgs' block, while the kills kept finding space around Cove's back row.

Up 21-19, Temple went to sophomore Loryn Goodwin for three straight kills, while a Thompson kill won the game.

The teams went back and forth in Game 2, but Temple pulled away late. Tied 17-17, the Tem-Cats scored eight of the final nine points.

"They outplayed us in Games 1 and 2," Lowery said. "We shouldn't have had to raise our intensity because they knew coming in this was a do-or-die for Temple. But again, they are teenage girls and just because they hear you doesn't mean they're actually absorbing."

Cove finally turned it on in Game 3 after the Tem-Cats scored three consecutive points, tying the score at 10-10. The Lady Dawgs scored six of the next seven points, including service aces from Amy Rosenbaum and Teneshia Abney to force a Temple timeout. The Tem-Cats didn't get any closer than five points the rest of the game.

"Game 3 we didn't play well," Temple coach Susie Hughlett said. "Game 4 I thought we picked it back up. We just got into that non-aggressive volleyball play. When we do what we're supposed to do, we can play with anybody."

Temple's passive style, along with Cove's hitters, led to the Lady Dawgs taking early command of Game 5. Cove scored four straight points, forcing a Temple timeout, and followed with three of the next four for a 7-1 lead.

Temple rallied however behind Goodwin, who scored seven straight Tem-Cat points to cut Cove's lead to 11-10. Goodwin later tied the score at 12-12, but a Temple line violation and Michelle Blount kill gave the Lady Dawgs match point.

The Tem-Cats fought off a first match point with a Muniz kill, but the senior's next attempt went into the net, giving Cove the match.

Contact Angel Verdejo at averdejo@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7564.

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