HHS sophomore Hannah Dzurick goes up to send a ball past the outstretched arms of Licking blockers Maddy Cole (6) and Maggie Cline (2) during the second set of last week's season-opening match in Houston.

Starting the 2019 season with a pair of home matches last week, the Houston volleyball team came away with an even record, losing to Licking in straight sets in Tuesday’s opener before downing Cuba in straight sets on Thursday.

In the match against Licking, Houston scored the first point of the season on an ace by junior setter Hannah Dzurick to open the first set.

Janae hits

HHS senior Janae Huff smacks a ball toward the outstretched arms of Licking’s Kamryn Barnes during the second set of the season-opening match on Tuesday of last week in Houston.

The visiting Lady Wildcats then quickly pulled away to a 7-2 lead, but the Lady Tigers answered with a 7-2 run of their own to tie the score at 9-all. After that, Licking outscored Houston 16-5 to take the set.

In the second set, the Lady Wildcats jumped out to a 7-1 lead and never looked back.

HHS senior Janae Huff recorded three kills in the match, while Dzurick had five assists. Huff, Dzurick and junior libero Kelly Hubbs had three digs apiece, while Hubbs posted a 2.39 passing rating and sophomore middle hitter Sarah Purcell had a block.

“Licking is a tough opponent,” said Lady Tigers head coach Loran Richardson. “They are a very good team and one of the top teams in our conference. The girls had some great digs and this game showed us some things we’ve got to get better at.

“I think from the beginning of the season to the end, we will only get better.”

In the match against Cuba, it was Houston doing the dominating, winning the first set 25-14 and closing out the victory with a 25-10 score in the second set. The Lady Tigers (1-1) combined to record four aces, 18 kills and 33 digs in the match.

Huff and senior outside hitter Viviana Guerra each had five kills, while Dzurick notched eight assists, Hubbs had seven digs and Purcell had two blocks.

“We took care of the ball and had some great hustle plays,” Richardson said. “This should give the girls some confidence moving forward.”

Houston’s junior varsity also beat Cuba 25-19, 25-20. The Junior Lady Tigers amassed eight kills and 12 aces in the win.

Houston’s C-team won its set against Cuba, 25-11, recording eight kills and six aces.

“All three teams played great,” Richardson said.

This week, Houston travels to Summersville for a Tuesday match.

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