HHS junior Morgan McKinney (23) and senior Kelsey Pritchett (16) defend against a ball hit by Salem junior Savannah Nash during the Lady Tigers' win in an SCA game Tuesday in Tiger Fieldhouse. Credit: DOUG DAVISON | HOUSTON HERALD

In their first South Central Association conference game of the season, the Houston High School volleyball Lady Tigers swept Salem Tuesday in Tiger Fieldhouse, 25-14, 26-24, 25-13.

With senior Anna Gale serving, Houston jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set.

Taking advantage of a lethal power game and active net play, the Lady Tigers built a 20-6 lead with a run in which senior outside hitter Angie Smith served for 11 straight points, recording 3 consecutive aces in the process. The sequence also included 2 kills and a block by 6-foot senior middle hitter Kelsey Pritchett.

The visiting Lady Tigers responded with an 8-2 run of their own, but Houston finished out the set with Gale serving.

The host Lady Tigers led 5-0 again early in the second set, but Salem clawed back and tied the score at 10 on a kill by 5-11 senior middle hitter Emily Strange.

The two teams then battled back-and-forth before Houston took the set in overtime. With the score at 24-22 in favor of the home squad, Salem won a marathon rally to pull within a point, and the score was knotted at 24-all after an error by Houston.

The host Lady Tigers then prevailed in the set on back-to-back points by sophomores Kayla Wagner and Kynlee Weaver.

As teammates Maddie Holder (1) and Kynlee Weaver (2) watch, HHS junior Makinley Aaron dives to prevent a ball from hitting the floor during the second set.

After the two teams exchanged points early in the third set, Houston pulled away and led 21-11 after consecutive aces by Weaver and an error by Salem.

As usual, Smith was busy banging kills throughout the game, and the contest ended when she boomed a ball that bounced off of a Salem defender and went out of bounds.

Smith finished with a game-high 15 kills, while Wagner had 7 kills and 14 assists. Junior Makinley Aaron recorded 18 digs for the Lady Tigers, while Weaver served up a whopping 6 aces.

Houston (8-1-1, 1-0 SCA) travels to Mountain Grove on Thursday for another conference matchup.

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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