BANGS — Finally opening the home portion of their schedule, the Bangs Lady Dragons volleyball team got off a quick start but was unable to maintain the momentum.
After posting a 25-20 victory in the first set, the Lady Dragons dropped the next three to the Abilene Christian Lady Panthers, 25-14, 25-17, 25-21 for a four-set setback.
"They played hard, but I felt like we were really excited and nervous," said Bangs first-year head coach Cheyenne Lovelady, a former Lady Dragon herself. "We need to go back to basic fundamentals during those situations. We plan to take this loss and learn from it. Being consistent and playing smart are two things we plan to improve upon. We're excited to play another tough team Saturday and to continue improving."
Bangs (7-9) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set with an ace by Halle Lance capping the opening surge. In front 7-6, the serving of Bangs' Kyra Smith sparked the Lady Dragons to 10-6 edge. Abilene Christian drew even at 12, but a service error allowed Bangs to regain the lead.
A kill from Jacee Miller and a block by Korlei King in succession allowed the Lady Dragons to increase their edge to 16-12. Another kill from Smith boosted the advantage to 17-13, and Bangs led by at least four points the rest of the way.
In the second set, a block from Lance knotted the score at 6, but Abilene Christian reeled off the next four points and Bangs never recovered. Trailing 13-10, Bangs was outscored 12-4 down the stretch.
The third set featured more problems early on for Bangs, which fell into a 12-6 hole that was too steep to escape.
Bangs was much more competitive in the fourth set and was on the verge of extending the match with the score knotted at 21. Abilene Christian, however, tallied four points in a row to secure the victory.
The Lady Dragons are scheduled to be back in action at 1 p.m. Saturday when they visit the Miles Lady Bulldogs.