Lady Tigers Drop Season Opener to Licking

A season-opening victory just eluded the Houston Lady Tigers.

Playing for the first time in 2007, the varsity volleyball team missed two crucial serves late in each game against rival Licking and lost Tuesday night, 27-25, 25-23.

Houston (0-1) was serving with Game 1 tied 25-all and Game-2 knotted at 23-23. Both times, the Lady Tigers failed to put their serves in play.

“Licking just outplayed us when the pressure was on,” Houston coach Debbie James said. “We will have to get our mental game together this year. Young or not, we shouldn’t be missing serves at this level.”

Freshman Erica Keeney had five kills with only one error and led Houston with three blocks. Janell Gentry had 11 assists, Shelbi Moore added 13 digs and Kortney Huffman had a team-best three aces.

While Licking was playing its second match of the season, Houston took the court for the first time with an entirely new lineup from last year’s sectional champions. The Lady Tigers return just two starters and only have two seniors. All but three of the players on the roster are freshmen and sophomores.

“Overall, we did some good things for our first game of the season,” James said. “We will focus in practice on moving our feet on defense and swinging at the ball.”

Houston returns to the court tonight (Thursday) when the Lady Tigers host Cuba. The JV contest begins at 6 p.m.

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