The Houston High School volleyball team swept two opponents this week in best 3-out-of-5 contests in Tiger Fieldhouse, beating Plato on Tuesday (25-9, 25-5, 25-21) and Conway on Thursday (25-11, 25-10, 25-12).
The game against Plato lasted only about an hour, as the Lady Tigers took advantage of a superior power game to keep rallies short, while also serving up numerous aces to race to the straight sets victory.
Senior outside hitter Angie Smith led Houston’s offensive onslaught, slamming a whopping 8 kills in the first set alone.
Houston ran away early in the second set, as senior Anna Gale banged four consecutive aces at the outset to put Houston ahead 4-0. Smith, junior Morgan McKinney and sophomore Gracyn McNiell also delivered aces in the set.
The Lady Tigers built a 17-8 lead in the third set when sophomore setter Kayla Wagner scored on a perfectly-place two-hand shot to open space in the back-right corner of Plato’s side of the net.
The visiting Lady Eagles then mounted a spirited comeback and tied the score at 20-all on back-to-back aces by junior Taryne Scott.
But Houston regained the momentum and went ahead 24-21 on another ace by Gale and completed the sweep on a mistake by Plato.
Six different Lady Tigers smacked kills in the win, with Smith finishing with 17 and Wagner banging a career-high 8. Gale ended up with 5 aces, while Smith and McNiell had 9 digs apiece and senior Kelsey Pritchett was credited with 1 block.
Conway provided a slightly stiffer challenge and scored in double-figures in all three sets, but the deeper Lady Tigers had little trouble earning their third straight win.
Smith and Pritchett each had 10 kills in the game (with Pritchett recording a career-high), while Wagner had a career-high 21 assists and junior Makinley Aaron served up 4 aces.
The Lady Tigers will compete Saturday (Sept. 16) in the annual Cabool Invitational Tournament. The 15-team event will feature three 5-team pools; Houston is grouped with Salem, Willow Springs, Bunker and Chadwick.
Houston (3-1) begins South Central Association conference play next week by hosting Salem on Tuesday and traveling to Mountain Grove for a key SCA game on Thursday (Sept. 21).