CRANE — Sweetwater’s first volleyball playoff game in five years started well for the Lady Mustangs, who held several comfortable leads in the opening game of Tuesday’s bi-district matchup with Fabens.
However, the Lady Wild-cats suddenly came alive with a 9-0 run that turned an 18-13 Sweetwater lead into a 22-18 deficit. Fabens won, 25-22, and went on to complete a three-game sweep after winning the last two games by scores of 25-19 and 25-13 at Crane High School’s gym.
Sweetwater (13-22), the fourth-place team this sea-son in District 4-3A, briefly recovered against Fabens at the start of the second game as the Lady Mustangs took a 7-3 lead. But Fabens fought back to go ahead 10-9, and the District 3-3A champions — who advanced to face Seminole in the area playoffs — never trailed in the match again. However, the Lady Mustangs were down just 21-19 in Game 2 before Fabens used a 4-0 run to end it.
“Not enough offense, too much defense,” coach Liz Miller said. “We were rolling early, but then they got on that (9-0) run and it changed the momentum, and we couldn’t regain it.
“We started playing not to lose. We played a little uptight and scared.
“(Fabens) didn’t give up on any ball, and we let sev-eral hit. We just could never get our offense going again. I’m disappointed. I really thought we could do it.”
But Miller said this year’s team, which had just two players with previous varsity experience, had exceeded her expectations. “We have come a long way,” she said. “Every one of (the players) has gotten better and I’m proud of them. And the fact that we had this experience will help us next year.”
The team loses six seniors — Kayla Chowning, Mikki Reschman, Ziggy Collins, Shaneese Brown, Aly Here-dia and Alexis Williams — but will have young talent returning: junior Maddie Jones, sophomores Mikeilah Foust and Morgan Gomez and freshmen Maddie Berry and Kensi Chowning. Kayla and Kensi Chowning had nine and six kills, respectively; Gomez had 18 digs, Heredia 16, Reschman 14, and Kayla Chowning 12. Heredia had 10 assists and Jones eight, plus nine digs. Brown had four kills and two blocks and Collins fin-ished with six digs.