Katelyn Martinez and Desiree Venable, right, chase after a ball near the stands during 2013 Houston High School volleyball season. Venable recently signed with MCC-Longview to continue her volleyball career.

The Houston High School volleyball team didn’t let a tough defeat linger.

Two days after a season-opening loss to rival Licking, the Lady Tigers bounced back last Thursday night with a 25-20, 25-16 victory against Cuba inside Hiett Gymnasium.

“The girls really came out to play,” HHS coach Skye Carrasquillo said. “Their focus was to come out strong and let nothing touch the floor.”

Shelby Cremer had six aces and Sarah Kelley added four for the Lady Tigers, who lost three matches Saturday in the Branson Tournament. Sydney Cremer led the team with 12 assists.

Houston led 18-16 in the opening set against Cuba when Shelby Cremer had consecutive aces to extend the advantage. Camryn Sheets’ ace made it 24-19 and after a Cuba point, Kelley tipped the ball between defenders to end the set.

HHS (1-4) took control early in the second set with a 12-3 spurt that included a pair of aces from Kelley and another by Shelby Cremer. The set ended with a 6-2 run that featured aces by Shelby Cremer and Desiree Venable.

“Our serving has been important to this team,” Carrasquillo said. “It’s what starts our momentum.”

At Branson, the Lady Tigers dropped their three matches to Branson (25-18, 15-25, 25-19), El Dorado Springs (25-16, 27-25, 25-16) and Lockwood (25-23, 25-22).

Kelley and Venable had seven kills apiece in the tournament. Sydney Cremer had team bests of 23 assists and five aces.

JUNIOR VARSITY: Hayley Walker had eight kills in the JV Lady Tigers’ 25-20, 11-25, 28-26 loss last Thursday to Cuba.

Krista Scott led the team with 11 digs, and Abby Casper added 10. Bailey Earp had eight assists, four kills and four aces.

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