Unforced errors were the downfall of the Hays Rebels in a straight set loss to the Westlake Chaparrals Tuesday.
Entering the match, Hays (22-17) was red-hot in district play and had won six straight matches, having lost only one set during that span. They faced an equally fired up Westlake squad that had also won six in a row.
Set one set the tone for the rest of the match as Hays and Westlake exchanged blows over the first ten points. Hays Senior Jamie Agnew and Sophomore Madelyn Krafka got off to hot starts for the Rebels, as the duo collected five kills over the early points of the set.
Once the teams approached ten points in the first frame, Westlake pulled away, forcing Hays Head Coach Stephanie Coates to take a timeout with her team down 13-8.
The timeout proved unsuccessful as the Chaparrals took the next three points, forcing another Hays timeout. The Lady Rebels fought back in the remaining points of the set, but Westlake capitalized on their early lead and took the set 25-17.
Hays came out more focused in set two. Senior Catherine Croft scored two of her seven total kills on the night in the first few points. Junior Ryann Torres helped Hays with seven assists and two kills. Despite improved play from Hays, Westlake did just enough to edge the Rebels 25-19.
Westlake dominated the third set 25-10 and claimed the match.
Coates felt her team didn’t play their best game, but definitely had bright spots against a good Westlake team.
“When we were serving tough, when we were hitting our spots and exposing their setter, we were scoring at will,” Coates said. “We gave away way too many points tonight.”
Coates said Hays did not play to their usual standards and made it clear what they needed to do to improve.
“We just have to keep working and keep competing,” Coates said. “I don’t care what the scoreboard says, we should be competing. Anything less than that is not acceptable.”
Hays will be back in action Friday when they host Akins High at 6:30 p.m.