Rained Out: Lady Cats fall in three games to Emory Rains

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Aug. 29, 2007 - After a fourth-place finish in the Terrell tournament this past weekend, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats returned home for the second time this season and were swept by the Rains Lady Wildcats 15-25, 21-25 and 23-25.

"The girls played hard and played well. They did a good job of being out there and pulling together as a team," said SSHS first-year coach Rachel Curtis. "I have never seen a team hustle like my team does. They hustle and get after it and they play with a lot of heart."

The Lady Cats are now 6-9 on the year and will travel to the Wills Point tournament this Thursday-Saturday. The Lady Cats will face Lakeview Centennial, Venus and Quitman in the opening round on Thursday.

"We are ready to go to the Wills Point Tournament this weekend," she said. "We are going to work a little on our coverage that we were lacking on tonight. We are going to work on playing hard and we are going to do the things that we have been doing all along. The thing that we are doing is working and those wins will start to come.

"We will leave at 7 a.m. and we usually play well during early games. The competition will be pretty tough during the tournament."

The Lady Cats started out strong in every game against Rains and jumped out to a 5-1 lead in Game 1 on strong serving by sophomore Maurie Lewis and kills by Katie Dodd, Brittani Crawford and Baleigh Butler. Dodd had a team-high seven kills and one block in the match.

Lady Cats junior Mackenzie Cross later tied the game at 9-9 on a kill off an assist by Lewis - who finished with 15 assists and one kill in the match - but that was as close as the Lady Cats would get the remainder of Game 1. Cross finished with five kills, one block and one ace.

In Game 2, the Lady Cats jumped out to a 6-0 lead as Krista McMahan had three aces during the rally before Rains came storming back.

Rains scored 10 of the next 14 points to tie the game at 10-10 on three service aces and two kills by Katelyn Wade, but the Lady Cats could not keep focus throughout the match.

"Every single game we came out strong and we were pulling together and then we slowly each match kept losing intensity," Curtis said. "We usually don't have those kinds of dropped balls and tonight we did. We lost our focus at times and they let them get discouraged and let themselves get down."

Game 3 once again saw the Lady Cats in the driver's seat early as they took a 6-3 lead on an ace by Amanda McGowin but once again Rains found a way to gain the lead on a kill by Chelsee Hudson - who led the team with eight on the night - to take a 9-8 lead midway through the final game.

Kelsey Smith gave the Lady Cats a 16-12 lead with back-to-back aces before Rains went on an 11-3 run to take a 23-19 lead. Hudson had five kills during the run and Wade had seven service points during that stretch.

The Lady Cats put together a run of their own late and got to within one at 23-24 on a kill by McMahan off a Lewis assist before Rains put the game away with a kill by Daniella Huddleston for the 25-23 win.

I thought they came back strong late in the match," Curtis said. "They came back and played with a positive attitude."

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