Clear Creek Wildcats head coach Scott Simonds concedes that he could give his team an easier non-district schedule. But, what’s to be gained from that?
“That doesn’t really get us ready to play (Clear) Springs, Falls, Brook and everyone else in 24-6A,” Simonds said. “We’ve got to raise our level of play here, and the only way to do that is to play some tough competition.”
Clear Creek continued a rugged non-district schedule at home Tuesday, with the Wildcats taking their lumps against one of the Houston area’s top programs, Pearland Dawson, in a 25-18, 25-12, 25-13 sweep. Already facing an uphill battle against the Lady Eagles, early-season injuries also took a toll on Clear Creek’s effort Tuesday.
“We’ve got to play better than that,” Simonds said. “I can take losing to that team, but not in the way that we did.”
Dawson led wire-to-wire in this one, with a 1-1 tie in the first set being the closest Clear Creek would get to holding a lead in the entire match. The Lady Eagles raced out to a 9-2 lead in the first set, capped by a kill from Madison Deslatte. The Wildcats got as close as trailing by three points at multiple moments, but, leading 20-17, Dawson wrapped up the opening set on a 5-1 run.
Dawson won the first four points of the second set, capped by back-to-back kills from Deslatte, and quickly built an 8-2 lead. Trailing 10-4 after a Carrie Tripp ace, Clear Creek battled back with five unanswered points, highlighted by an ace from Sam Rocha, a big block from Shaina Westfall and a tip kill from Aaliyah Ellis.
A timeout called by Dawson proved highly effective, as the Lady Eagles scored eight unanswered points after the Clear Creek run and out-paced the Wildcats, 15-3, run to close out the second set.
Consecutive kills from Alexia Jones helped Dawson build a 5-1 lead to start the third set. Later, a Sam Simmons kill got Clear Creek to within 8-6, but a 13-3 Dawson run, led by Kylie Nance and Nicole Deslatte, essentially put the match away for the Lady Eagles.
“They have what you need to be successful,” Simonds said of Dawson.
Ellis and Madison Cole were Clear Creek’s kills leaders with six apiece. Kylie Luedde led the Wildcats’ defense with 11 digs. Spencer Plato, in her first match back from an injury, led Clear Creek in assists with nine.
Next up for the Wildcats will be a road trip to New Braunfels to take part in the Frauleinfest tournament Thursday through Saturday.
• Deer Park 3, Clear Springs 1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22)
• Kingwood Park 3, Friendswood 1 (25-20, 27-25, 24-26, 25-17)
• Santa Fe 3, Needville 0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-23)
Editor’s note: For more details on these matches, see the Aug. 13 roundup at galvnews.com.