Playing in a tournament for the second time in as many weeks, the Houston High School volleyball team took third in the 71st annual LHS Volleyball Classic last Saturday at Licking.

In two-set pool play in the 10-team event, Houston split with Salem, lost to Liberty and beat Eminence and Central Park Hills. After placing second in their pool, the Lady Tigers fell 2-0 to host Licking in a best-of-three semifinals game and then topped Willow Springs 2-0 in the third-place contest.

Sophomore outside hitter Angie Smith had a big day, leading Houston in kills with 36 and aces with 9, while also recording 41 digs.

Senior setter Hannah Dzurick had 23 kills and a whopping 48 assists for the Lady Tigers, while senior libero Mali Brookshire had a team-high 46 digs and junior middle hitter Olivia Crites was credited with 6 blocks.

Last Thursday, the Lady Tigers got their seventh sweep of the season in best-of-5 games, winning a nonconference road game at Bourbon 25-5, 25-16, 25-6.

Smith smacked 9 kills in the game, while junior Crites slammed 7 and sophomore middle hitter Kelsey Pritchett notched 6.

Smith and Dzurick each served up 4 aces, while Crites recorded a block. Dzurick was also credited with 17 assists.

On Monday, the Lady Tigers picked up a 3-1 nonconference win at Dixon, dominating all but the third set (25-9, 25-10, 22-25, 25-8).

Smith had 14 kills and 5 aces in the victory, while Crites had 11 kills and 2 blocks, Brookshire and junior defensive specialist Logynn Foster had 16 digs apiece and Dzurick put up 23 assists.

Houston hits the home stretch of the regular season next week with a South Central Association conference home games Tuesday against Ava and Thursday against Willow Springs. The Lady Tigers wrap up the regular season with a home game next Tuesday (Oct. 19) against Salem and then host the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 2 District 9 Tournament on Friday and Saturday of next week.

Through Monday, the Lady Tigers were 23-5-2 overall and atop the SCA standings at 4-0.

“At this point, they have the skills and knowledge to win games,” said HHS head coach Loran Richardson. “It all comes down to who is mentally tougher and can execute. We have the capability to beat anyone, we’ve just got to go out and do it.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what these girls can do here at the end!”

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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