Two hitters are better than one and Hallsville showed why Tuesday in a win over Robert E. Lee at Varsity Gymnasium.
The Lady Raiders grabbed Game 1 of the match, but dropped the next three to succumb 18-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-16. The loss dropped REL to 10-9 while Hallsville upped its record to 13-7.
Lee junior Mallory Kuechle was back after an abdominal injury had relegated her to playing libero. She quickly made an impact with four kills in Lee’s Game 1 victory. Kuechle finished with a team-high nine kills to go along with 10 digs and five blocks. Kalloway Hudson (14 assists) and Melissa Menard (10 assists) were on the stat sheet with Mallori Dike finishing with six digs.
Along with Kuechle, REL senior Rachel Johnston finished with six kills, but rotated out after playing on the front row.
And that was the problem for REL because Hallsville’s Darby Graff and Kaci Jackson remained on the floor throughout, doing just as much attacking from back row as they did at the net.
Kuechle attempted to pick up the slack, but was only one compared to Graff and Jackson taking turns on each side.
“Those two were the difference and (Hallsville’s) defense,” said REL coach Melissa Lee. “In the first game, we didn’t make a lot of unforced errors and they did. We were playing as we should play.
“We have to step up and play because we are going to see good teams (this week) and even those who have beaten Hallsville.”
Hallsville won the second game handily as Jackson and Graff warmed up, combining for six kills and three blocks.
The third game was the decisive moment in the match. Neither team could shake the other with Lee and Hallsville trading points until a three-point surge from REL gave the Lady Raiders a 19-16 advantage. Consecutive kills by Jackson cut the lead to 19-18 with REL answering on a kill from Hudson.
REL used a kill from Kuechle to make it 22-20, but again, Hallsville’s Big Two responded. This time it was Graff with consecutive kills to tie things back up. A back row kill from Graff made it 23-23 before a close out call on a Lee spike gave the Lady Bobcats a game point. An error off Jackson’s serve clinched the game and made it 2-1 Hallsville.
The Lady Bobcats put the match away in fourth game, building a 20-11 lead before closing out the match, 25-16.
RAIDER RAP: Lee’s JV lost to Hallsville in two games, 25-21, 25-20. In freshmen matches, Lee split, with Red losing in two games (25-22, 26-24) and White winning in three games (19-25, 25-22, 25-20).