Needing a conference victory to boost their championship hopes, the Houston High School volleyball team got one in dramatic fashion Tuesday at Thayer, winning 3-2 in a highly-competitive back-and-forth contest.

The host Lady Bobcats took the first set 25-22, but the Lady Tigers tied the game by prevailing in a marathon second set, 30-28. Thayer then went ahead 2-1 by winning the third set that also went overtime, 28-26, but Houston bounced back again with a 25-20 victory in the fourth set and then secured the huge win by taking the fifth and deciding set, 15-8.

“It definitely was a fight,” said HHS head coach Julia Sloan. “Thayer is a really solid ball club. We battled really well. I thought our grit came out in the fourth and fifth sets.”

HHS senior outside hitter Angie Smith continued her season-long offensive onslaught by banging a career-high 43 kills in the game, while also recording 3 aces. Senior middle hitter Kelsey Pritchett scored on a career-high 9 blocks for the Lady Tigers, while sophomore setter Kayla Wagner had a career-high 30 assists and junior Makinley Aaron chipped in a career-high 35 digs.

The loss was Thayer’s first in conference play and dropped the Lady Bobcats to 11-7-1 overall and 2-1 in the SCA.

“It’s a great SCA win,” Sloan said.

Houston’s record now stands at 10-2-1 overall and 2-1 in the SCA. 

The Lady Tigers face another big road test on Thursday at Liberty. After a home win over Cabool on Tuesday, the Lady Eagles are 8-7 overall, but are undefeated in SCA play at 4-0.

“We just need to build on this for Thursday against Liberty,” Sloan said.

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