Levelland managed to outlast Lubbock High through 12 lead changes for a four-set, 29-27, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20 win Tuesday at Westerner Arena.
It was a win the Loboettes, a Class 4A program, were proud to obtain. They got a little further ahead of the .500 mark and earned the victory against a significantly larger Class 5A school.
“It’s really difficult when you’re playing a team like that,” junior 6-foot-1 hitter Makayla Escue said. “They were a lot like us talent wise, so we had to stay strong, be competitive and stay within our heads. Sometimes we get really bad about that, and we didn’t do that this game. It turned out really well for us.”
Escue put up a team-high 18 total points in the Levelland (15-12) win. She scored the squad’s final four earned points on three blocks and a kill to undo a 19-18 deficit in the fourth and final frame.
Lubbock High (8-23) gave up the remaining points the Loboettes needed to win the set on three unforced errors.
That was the kind of night it was for the Lady Westerners.
A hit into the net brought about the beginning of the end of a first set Lubbock High controlled from the match’s sixth combined point all the way to the 48th. The spike into the net turned a lead that had been six points at its largest into just a 24-23 advantage for the Lady Westerners.
Levelland tied the match the next point on Kelsie Davis’ block to force the teams into a 24-24 tie and, from there, the winning team needed a two-point margin to win the first set.
There were two ties and two lead changes in extras before Lubbock High had a hit sail too long for a 28-27 deficit. Escue then ended the set with a kill.
Lubbock High endured five lead changes in the second set before encountering a 19-19 tied score. Reagan Armstrong, Sabrina Gonzalez and Brianna Warren all scored once to spearhead a 6-2 closing run and evened the match at one set apiece.
The third set, however, was the least contested of the match. Levelland opened on a 7-2 run and never relinquished the lead.
“We’re playing bigger and better schools just trying to get ready for district,” first-year Loboettes coach Shelly Kay said. “I’m a new coach and didn’t set this schedule, but I know the old coach (Lubbock-Cooper’s Karli Morrison) and she wanted to play tougher teams and bigger schools to get better.”
Lubbock High will return to action Saturday and hosts Dalhart at 1 p.m. Its District 4-5A opener follows Sept. 22 at Abilene Cooper.
While the Lady Westerners square off with Dalhart, Levelland simultaneously will visit Shallowater. The Loboettes have one final non-district match afterward next Tuesday against Big Spring.
“It’s pretty exciting to move onto Shallowater,” Escue said. “We have a little bit of a rivalry with them and tend to play well against them. I think we’ll be ready.”