HACKETT — In a showdown for the 2A-West conference lead, Hackett raced out to a two-set lead against Lavaca.
The Lady Arrows nearly forced a fourth set, but Lady Hornet coach Bridget Freeman implored her team to fight back.
Hackett did just that, rallying late to take the lead. Then after Lavaca staved off a match point to tie it at 24-all, the Lady Hornets scored the next two points to pull out the win Thursday, prevailing 25-15, 25-18, 26-24.
With the win, the Lady Hornets are now atop the conference with a 5-0 record. Hackett (8-2-1) also avenged two losses to the Lady Arrows last season, the latter a defeat in the finals of the district tournament.
"Both teams had been going non-stop and both were kind of a little flat there in the third set; I think a lot of it was the hype and the energy that they had used, the extra stuff, not the volleyball skills," Freeman said. "I called a time out there and brought them in and said, 'All right, this is what you show me what you're made of.' ... We wanted to put it away in three, we didn't want to go four, so they really stepped up."
Lavaca went on a 7-1 run in the third set to take a 17-11 lead, capped by an ace from sophomore Anna Todaro. The Lady Arrows were still in charge, going up 22-16 on a kill from senior Jessica Flanagan.
Then, a kill right down the left line from Todaro made it 23-18.
But that's when the Lady Hornets rose to the occasion. They reeled off six straight points, taking a 24-23 lead on a kill from sophomore Kenadi Wright.
Lavaca forced a tie on the ensuing point. But a kill from sophomore Madeline Freeman put Hackett in front to stay, and the Lady Arrows committed a hitting error to give the Lady Hornets the sweep.
"Since these kids were seventh graders and started the sport, they've just been enthusiastic, just lots of energy, they just play with high emotions and they support each other," Bridget Freeman said. "I think my favorite thing is they don't care who the kill leader is, they don't care who the ace leader is, they are extremely in it for the team and truly in it for each other."
Wright finished with eight kills, with junior Rain Vaughn adding six kills and three blocks. Madeline Freeman added five kills along with 10 assists while serving eight aces.
Also for the Lady Hornets, junior Kayla Richardson and sophomore Shayla Foster added 17 and 10 digs, respectively. Junior Madi Taylor registered 10 assists as well.
For Lavaca, Todaro ended up with 20 kills, 13 of those coming in the final set. Flanagan added five kills as well.
Hackett jumped out to a 17-8 lead in the opening set. Lavaca closed to within six, 21-15, before Hackett reeled off four straight points, with Foster delivering an ace for set point.
In the second set, with Hackett up 16-14, the Lady Hornets went on a 7-2 run, with junior Kandace Byrd's kill finishing things off, giving Hackett a 23-16 advantage. Another junior, Jamye Durham, gave the Lady Hornets the 2-0 lead in the match with a kill for set point.