The Houston High School volleyball team poses with the second-place plaque from Saturday’s Rolla Tournament. Pictured are team members, front row from left: Reanna Craig, Nora Dixon, Amber Sillyman, Desiree Venable, Hayley Walker and Camryn Scheets. Second row: Haley Kelley, Alexa Ichord, Sarah Garrett, Sydney Cremer, Sarah Kelley, Kylee Elmore, Megan Silveus and coach Skye Carrasquillo.

The Houston High School volleyball team struggled through pool play in the Rolla Tournament. But the Lady Tigers played their best when it mattered most.

After losing five of their first six matches on Saturday, Houston advanced to the championship match before losing in three sets to Waynesville.

“We played well,” HHS coach Skye Carrasquillo said. “We’re making strides as a team and understanding our abilities.”

Houston opened tournament play with a 18-25, 25-19, 25-16 victory against West Plains. The Lady Tigers lost to the Zizzers in their matchup during the summer.

In the semifinals, Houston outlasted rival Licking 25-15, 23-25, 25-12. The victory –– now the second straight over Licking since losing the first meeting in season opener –– propelled the Lady Tigers into the championship match.

Although Houston dropped the final match, Carrasquillo said her team proved it can compete at a higher level. The Lady Tigers pushed Waynesville to three sets before losing 25-23, 17-25, 25-20.

Waynesville had swept HHS in straight sets in pool play.

“The girls mentioned how we came prepared and motivated for tournament play,” Carrasquillo said. “They came together as a team.”

Last Thursday, the Lady Tigers cruised past Willow Springs 25-20, 16.

On Monday, Houston took Eminence to three sets before losing 25-17, 22-25, 25-21. The following night, Houston won convincingly at Salem 25-18, 25-16.

JUNIOR VARSITY: The JV Lady Tigers beat Salem 25-18, 25-16 on the road Tuesday night.

MIDDLE SCHOOL: The seventh grade volleyball team won its second match on the season by outlasting Mountain Grove 25-22, 7-25, 25-23 last week. The Lady Tigers had previously defeated Summersville in straight sets.

The eighth grade is still searching for its first victory after losing in straight sets to Mountain Grove and Ava last week.

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