Rains downs Sulphur Springs 3-1

By Don Wallace, News-Telegraph Sports Editor

Sept. 3, 2008 - Errors will get you in the end. Especially when you are going up against a strong opponent like Rains.

The hometown Lady Cats started strongly, but lost their momentum and a 3-1 decision at the hands of Rains here Tuesday night. Rains won by scores of 25-19, 25-16, 25-19, 25-18.

The non-district game was spirited throughout, but the Lady Cats from Rains won the final three games to take the match. Mistakes and errors by Sulphur Springs were another reason the squad could not keep pace with the visitors from Rains.

"Rains got momentum, it was all from our errors," said Sulphur Springs head volleyball coach Rachel Curtis. "They didn't do anything special, we just had errors. Our girls fought hard the entire time. That is something you can always say about us."

"We did a better job against Rains than we did last year," Curtis said. "Last year I don't know if we scored 10 points on them. We're still working, we're still climbing. By the time district gets here, we will be in the place we need to be."

Kara Tomlinson led the team with 12 kills, despite coming back from injury.

Maurie Lewis had 15 points from serves, Baleigh Butler 10 points and Spencer Martin added eight service points.

In the first game, the teams traded points with the game tied at 4-all. Chelsee Hudson of Rains got five points off serves, including an ace as Rains jumped ahead 9-4.

Sulphur Springs would not go away with Mackenzie Cross serving for two points. Tomlinson and Katie Dodd added kills with the Rains lead cut to 9-8 after a five point rally by Sulphur Springs.

With the score tied at 10-all, the hometown Lady Cats reeled off four consecutive points from Lewis served. Rains was called for a double hit, then kills by Krista McMahan and Butler led Sulphur Springs to a 14-10.

The Rains squad came running back and following strong serving by Nikka Kellam cut the advance to 14-13.

Sulphur Springs got four points off the serves by Butler. Points at the net came on a kill by Dodd and mishits by Rains. The squad was troubled by Butler's low serves that barely cleared the net.

The Rains team fell behind 20-17 and Sulphur Springs had a chance to control the game, up by a 21-17 margin and McMahan serving.

A kill by Hudson at the net with a powerful shot gave Rains a point.

But the Lady Cats of Sulphur Springs closed out strong with two straight service points by Cross. A kill by Tomlinson sealed the game and gave the hometown squad a 25-19 victory.

The second game belonged to Rains from the start. The visitors bolted to a 7-2 lead behind strong serving by Cassy Maxvill and Payton Hooten.

A serve into the net by Rains gave Sulphur Springs a chance to rally. The hometown Lady Cats got two service points by Lewis combined with a nice dig by McMahan and a kill by Lewis. Sulphur Springs closed within six points, 11-5.

Katelyn Wade got an ace and recorded another point off a serve as Sulphur Springs knocked the ball out-of-bounds. Rains continued to pad their lead with four service points by Torie Talkington and three more from Maxvill. The Rains squad won the game 25-16 to even the match at 1-each.

The third game could have gone either way. The teams traded points and short rallies with Sulphur Springs up 6-5. Then with the score tied at 6-all, Danielle Huddleston got in a serving groove to be marveled at by all fans at the game. Huddleston pumped serve after serve over the net, many serves unable to be returned by Sulphur Springs squad. When the smoke had cleared, she had served off 11 consecutive points and Rains had the game in hand up 17-6. The visitors won by the final of 25-19. Sulphur Springs made a late rally, but could not overcome the damage done earlier.

The strong serving by Rains continued in the fourth game as they bolted to a 9-3 advantage early. The Sulphur Springs girls fought back with late points from kills by Cross. But Rains won the game, 25-18 and took the series, 3-1.

Rains is now 9-3 for the year, Sulphur Springs falls to 9-7.

"We played hard. Katie Dodd came through with some big kills. Everybody does their part, it just wasn't enough," Curtis added. 'They didn't regret anything, they gave 100 percent."

In junior varsity action, Rains won two games 24-26 and 18-25.

In freshmen play, Sulphur Springs took two big wins. The A team won 25-23, 25-11 while the B squad lost 21-25, but rallied to win 25-23, 25-11.

The Lady Cats will play at Frisco Friday with freshmen games starting at 4:30 p.m. and the varsity to follow at 6 p.m.

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