BANGS — Opportunities presented themselves time after time, but the Bangs Lady Dragons were unable to capitalize as the Dublin Lady Lions walked away with a 25-19, 26-24, 25-23 victory Monday in non-district volleyball action.
The Lady Dragons got off to a slow start in the first set, but in the second and third Bangs could have easily chalked up victories, which would have changed the entire complexion of the game.
“We had some good moments and we had some bad moments,” said Lady Dragons first-year head coach Colleen Westfall, whose team slipped to 8-8 with its second straight loss. “In all honesty, I thought we had way too many errors, so many errors that I felt like we almost gave them the game. We didn’t step up to the challenge.”
Rikki Loman led Bangs with eight kills while Kinsie Ward and Kady Kyle contributed seven each followed by six from Jaylee Roberts and one by Kassidy Adams.
Cheyenne Lovelady dished out 21 assists.
Defensively, Ward collected a team-best 12 digs followed by nine from Kylie Allen, seven each from Lovelady and Roberts and six by Adams.
“We’ve got two weeks before district and when district hits I’d really like to see us more confident,” Westfall said. “We’ve got all the talent in the world and they’re learning quickly and working hard. We just have to get that confidence level up to where it needs to be.”
In the opening set, after a Ward kill pulled Bangs even at 2-all, Dublin dominated the remainder of the way. The Lady Lions answered with seven of the next eight points to grab a 9-3 advantage and Bangs never threatened.
Dublin stretched the lead to 22-13 before consecutive kills from Roberts and Kyle brought the Lady Dragons within 23-17, but the Lady Lions had no problem finishing the six-point victory.
The second set saw Bangs build a 15-10 lead before Dublin came roaring back.
Down 10-8, the Lady Dragons reeled off seven straight points beginning with a kill by Loman. Roberts then served an ace, while Dublin failed to get her next two serves back over the net as Bangs quickly snatched a 12-10 advantage. Loman added a kill, Roberts served another ace, then a Loman block capped the 7-0 surge.
Dublin rallied with nine of the next 11 points to reclaim a 19-17 edge, and the two teams were later tied at 19, 20 and 21. A kill from Kyle gave Bangs a 21-20 edge before Dublin reeled off three straight points. The Lady Dragons answered with three points of their own, with a kill from Loman putting Bangs in front 24-23. Still, Dublin rallied again for the win.
In the final set, Bangs again fell behind early but pulled even at 16-all, where Dublin then reeled off five straight points to reclaim a 21-16 edge. The Lady Dragons then drew even at 21 thanks to a pair of kills from Roberts, but Dublin scratched out three straight points to open a 24-21 cushion. Bangs closed to within 24-23 before an unforced error resulted in Dublin’s final point and the sweep.
“The girls fought hard,” Westfall said. “We’d get down but then we’d fight right back. Dublin just had the mentality when it was tied late that they were going to get the game no matter what. We need to learn that mentality. We’re on the right road, we just need that extra little push about ourselves. They will get there eventually.”
Bangs returns to action at 11 a.m. Saturday when its hosts Gorman.