Struggles in limiting an effective Lake Travis Cavaliers attack sunk the Hays Rebels volleyball team in a 25-21, 25-18, 25-19 loss Tuesday at Bales Gym.
Sluggish starts by Hays in all three sets allowed Lake Travis to capture an early lead and never let it go.
Lake Travis (31-12, 11-1), guided by Jamison Wheeler and Campbell Cook, leapt out to a 19-11 lead in the first frame before Hays battled back. Led by seniors Ryann Torres, Reagan Casey and Sydney Collins, Hays closed the gap to two points at 23-21, but couldn’t draw any closer.
But a similar theme followed in the second frame as Lake Travis quickly sped out to a 19-10 lead, only to have Hays rally right back into contention.
An ace by Rebel junior Emily Linder cut Lake Travis’ lead to 21-17 late in the second set. But Lake Travis closed the frame on a 4-1 run, taking a commanding 2-0 match lead.
Momentum carried over into the opening stanza of the third frame as Lake Travis built a 21-11 lead and kept Hays at arms’ length the rest of the way.
With the defeat, Hays (23-19, 9-3) is tied with Austin High for the fourth and final playoff spot with eight matches left in the season.
Hays squares off against Austin High Friday at 5:30 p.m., followed by a home match against Ann Richards Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Hays travels to play at Lehman Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m.