The Lady Cats played well Tuesday in their home volleyball opener, but came up short to Paris in four games at the Sulphur Springs High School gym.
Paris, a tough 3A squad, came into the game with a 12-5, and lived in to that mark.
Sulphur Springs took the first game, a hard-fought 26-24 contest, but Paris rallied to win the next three games 25-17, 25-17, 25-19.
The Lady Cats often fell behind the talented visitors, but each time came back to make the contest very close and competitive loss dropped Sulphur Springs to 8-9 for the season.
In Game 1, everything went as planned for the home team. Steady serving by Katie Barnett and Jessye Castro allowed the Lady Cats to take a 7-2 lead on Paris. Kasey Moore added a strong net block and Shakoja Debase joined the serving line and the Lady Cats built on their lead. The home team made several unforced errors and Paige Dixon of Paris got hot at the net with some nice kills. Dixon took her turn serving and ripped off seven consecutive points and soon the game was tied at 12-all. The teams traded points with the contest tie three more times. Shakoja Debase again found the serving touch and Sulphur Springs broke a tie and went up 24-23. A block by Moore and an errant hit by Paris handed the first game to the Sulphur Springs squad by a 26-24 final.
Game 2 was close to start with team able to mount much of a lead. The visitors were up 9-6 and build on that advantage as Maddie Helms was deadly accurate from the service line. Paris got 11 straight points on serves by Helms. Sulphur Springs answered with clutch serving by Barnett. Jessye Castro had a kill and Barnett contributed an ace. But the Lady Cats lost the close battle by the final of 25-17,
With the match tied at one game each, Paris took the momentum when they won the third game.
During that contest, Sarah Womack had a kill and Wade added a block. The game was tied at 8-all with Paris staying close. Unforced errors by the Lady Cats allowed Paris to ease ahead 18-13. Paris kept the pressure on and won the contest 25-17.
The fourth game did go the way of Paris, but it was a spirited effort by Sulphur Springs. Castro and Wade had early kills at the net. Wade made other nice plays at the net, but Paris was ready with an answer. Dixon and Elise Winter had points at the net for the visitors. Paris went on to win 25-19.
“I was pleased with our effort last night. Paris is a very good team; they have great ball control and don't let a lot hit the floor and that can make a big difference in the game,” said Michelle Namanny, head volleyball coach. “We have a big weekend ahead of us: we play in the Mount Vernon tournament Thursday and Saturday and have an away game Friday night at Kaufman.”
Sulphur Springs won the junior varsity matches 7-25, 25-12, 26-24.
Junior varsity coach David Carrillo credited Lexie Moore, Sierra Nickerson, Kendall Wallace and Constance Gregory with good play. "We had a slow start, but we came back and won," Carrillo said. "These girls have been in enough close games to know how to hang in there and get the win. They responded very well after losing the first game. We were just a little rusty, we did not practice Friday or Monday."
The Sulphur Springs ninth grade lost to Paris by scores of 25-13, 18-25, 17-25 according to coach Jerrod Hammack.
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