A pair of road matches this week both went into the loss column for the Houston High School volleyball team, as the Lady Tigers were beaten in two sets Tuesday at Mountain Grove and again Thursday at Winona.

At Mountain Grove, Houston fell 25-20, 25-14. 

Senior outside hitter Viviana Guerra had 6 kills and a .278 hitting percentage for the Lady Tigers, while sophomore Hannah Dzurick had 10 digs and 9 assists and junior Lexie Spratt recorded 1 ace.

HHS head coach Loran Richardson was disappointed with the loss, which followed a gutsy, hard-fought win over Willow Springs in the previous week.

“We just didn’t have any fight in us,” Richardson said. “We played so tough the week before against Willow Springs and then just kind of laid down last night. We’ve got to finish strong at the end of the season.”

Houston’s junior varsity squad lost to Mountain Grove in a pair of tightly-contested sets, 25-23, 25-23. The Junior Lady Tigers had 18 kills and 5 aces and finished the 2019 season with a robust record of 15-4.

At Winona, Houston was defeated 25-18, 25-22.

Dzurick had 7 kills, while senior libero Kelly Hubbs had 22 digs and 3 aces and senior Janae Huff recorded 9 assists. The Lady Tigers’ 5-10 sophomore Sarah Purcell effectively patrolled the middle and notched a season-high 4 blocks.

“We really did a good job fighting and competing last night,” Richardson said. “Winona is a very good team year after year and we didn’t lay down. We had one of our best blocking games all season; we played really tough and aggressive at the net.

The Lady Tigers finished the regular season with an overall record of 8-14-2, and went 3-4 in the SCA.

Next up for Houston is the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 2 District 9 tournament at Licking. The Lady Tigers are seeded fifth in the six-team event and take on fourth-seeded Conway at 6 p.m. Monday.

The winner of that match will face No. 1 Licking at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Richardson said she likes her team’s chances if they play the way they did at Winona.

“Hopefully we can take that effort and momentum into our district game against Conway,” she said. “If we play like that, we give ourselves a great chance to win our first round match.”

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