SPRAY – The Wheeler County Eagle-Loggers came to play and were fired up for the Homecoming match against the undefeated Echo Cougars on Friday night in Spray.
The young Wheeler County team showed promise but couldn’t keep up with the Cougars – falling in 3 sets.
In the first set, the Wheeler squad looked ready to play with Echo. Tied 4-4, Echo had two consecutive aces, prompting a timeout from the Eagle Loggers.
A nice tip by freshman Vianey Ontiveros gave the side-out to Wheeler County, which was followed by strong serves from Maddie McMurray and Teagan Towell. Wheeler County chipped away and brought the score to 16-20. But Echo was relentless and regrouped to close the match 18-25.
In the second set, Wheeler got more strong play out of Ontiveros who scored off of serves and had big digs to keep rallies alive. Sophomore Callie Denney also served well and had hustle plays to keep the team in the game. A lefthanded tip from Ontiveros was followed by an ace from Denney that brought Wheeler to 11-17. But once again, Echo dug in and with strong serving and execution closed out the match.
In the final match, the teams were tied 5-5 and McMurray came up with several digs to keep the team in the game. But a run by Echo made the score 6-10 and another run extended the lead 8-19 and eventually winning 12-25.
Despite the loss, the Wheeler team is continuing to improve. Assistant Coach Laci Domenighini said that the team has had to change their lineup and is working to teach the game to several players that never played before.
The Eagle Loggers will travel to Bickleton on Thursday and are looking for their second win of the season.