HHS sophomore Katelyn Martinez (21) hits the ball over the net in the opening set of Monday’s Class 2 District 9 volleyball tournament at Cabool High School. The sixth-seeded Lady Tigers lost to Cabool 25-21, 10-25, 25-20

CABOOL –– With the lead and halfway to a district-opening victory, the Houston volleyball team made crucial mistakes when it mattered most.

The sixth-seeded Lady Tigers lost points on consecutive plays for being in the net and twice hit the ball out of bounds as Cabool scored seven straight points. The surge was enough to give the Lady Bulldogs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish as they beat HHS 25-21, 10-25, 25-20 in Monday’s first round of the Class 2 District 9 tournament.

No. 3 Cabool (14-13-3) lost to Liberty, which won the district championship, in Tuesday’s semifinals.

Houston’s season concluded with an 8-14-6 record under coach Skye Carrasquillo.

The Lady Tigers, who recovered after losing the opening set with a dominant second set, led 11-9 in the decisive third set after sophomore Katelyn Martinez’s kill. But the advantage quickly disappeared.

Beginning with two plays when HHS players were whistled for being in the net, the Lady Bulldogs used a 7-0 run to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

With the Lady Tigers trailing 16-11, Megan Silveus had consecutive tips over the net to pull within three points. But Houston never got closer.

The opening set was tied 16-all before Cabool went on a 7-1 run to pull away.

With Nora Dixon serving in the second set, the Lady Tigers scored nine straight points to turn a slim 12-9 lead into a 12-point advantage. Martinez had three kills during the spurt as HHS forced a third set.

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