There's something about that second set that gives the Hixson Lady Wildcats trouble.
Hixson lost the second set in Monday's volleyball opener against Sale Creek. They did the same thing against the Silverdale Seahawks on Tuesday, but just like Monday's match, the Lady Wildcats came out on top, 3-1.
Hixson won the first set with ease, 25-11. Silverdale evened the score with a 25-13 victory in the second set before the Lady Wildcats got the edge with a 25-18 win in the third. Then in the fourth set when neither team seemed able to take command, Hixson took advantage of Lady Seahawk errors late for the decisive 25-23 win that clinched the match.
"I wasn't impressed or happy with the way we played in that second set, but I'm pleased with the way we hung in there," said Hixson coach Janet Tate.
"I thought we played in spurts. We have several good hitters, but just didn't hit smart today. We just want to compete and we have a world of potential, but we still have a lot of work to do," she added.
Tuesday's match was the first for new Silverdale coach Nathan Daugherty. He certainly wasn't happy with the outcome, but he was happy with the way his girls battled and he was quick to praise the improvement they've made since the start of practice some three weeks ago.
"We lost our second setter and had to replace her with a younger girl, but we fought really hard today and I'm proud of that. Even though we were behind, we never quit. And I can't talk enough about how much we've improved since the start," he added.
Paige Lawson was simply too much for the Lady Seahawks up front. She finished the match with 16 kills and 22 digs while getting credit for four blocks and one ace. More often than not, the Lady Wildcats took advantage of her superior skill when they needed to score an important point or to stop a Silverdale run.
Abby Tipton had 18 digs while Bailey Burba had 22 assists. Haleigh Raber did her thing from the back line as she had seven aces, including the winning point in the third set when Hixson started to take control.
Emma Dale and Jordan Cooper both had seven kills for Silverdale while Caroline Couch added 16 assists and 10 digs.
Silverdale is now 0-1 and will return to action on Thursday when they go on the road to face CGLA. Both teams will be participating in the Hixson Invitational on Saturday.
Caroline Couch -- 10 digs, 16 assists
Lindsay Barlew -- 13 digs
Emma Dale -- 7 kills, 3 blocks
Jordan Cooper -- 7 kills
Molly Rumfelt -- 3 aces, 4 kills
Elise Pearson -- 4 kills, 2 aces
Kayleigh Page -- 4 digs, 3 blocks, 6 kills.
Abby Tipton -- 5 kills, 18 digs
Paige Lawson -- 1 ace, 16 kills, 4 blocks, 22 digs
Bailey Burba -- 1 ace, 2 kills, 4 digs, 22 assists
Haleigh Raber -- 7 aces, 13 digs
Tay Tay Staten -- 5 kills, 1 block, 13 digs
Madison Jett -- 3 kills, 1 block
Courtney Jones -- 5 aces, 5 kills, 14 digs.
(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)