By Tim Fleischer
Salado Lady Eagles fell in four sets to the Hargrave Lady Falcons in the 4A Region III semi-finals tonight, 25-20, 13-25, 25-19, 25-23 despite leading 17-16 and 22-18 in the third and fourth sets respectively.
Hargrave led throughout the first set, by as much as 7 points, 17-10, but Salado closed to within one, 18-19 on a kill by Elsie Law. The Lady Falcons hammered out the remaining points to win the first set 25-20.
The Lady Eagles took an early lead in the second set, taking a nine-point lead 5-14 on a six-point service by Livia Niu that included two aces by the junior.
Salado held on to the healthy lead, extending it to as much as 13 points before winning the second set on a kill by junior Reese Rich on an assist by senior Haleigh Wilk.
Hargrave won the third set 25-19, despite the fact that Salado had a lead of 12-10 and 17-16 before the Falcons put up five straight points to lead 21-17. From there, the Falcons held on for the 25-19 win and a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth set, Salado led by 7-2 early on, letting the Falcons tie the score at 11-11. Salado tied the score at 13-13 and led by as much as four at 20-16 but Hargrave fought back to stay in the hunt.
Salado led 22-18 before the Lady Falcons closed to 22-21 when Salado called time out. Salado scored the next point and the back line judge called a shot by Salado out of bounds to bring the Lady Falcons to within one.
Salado was called for a net violation on the next play to tie the score at 23-23 and Hargrave scored the next two points on Erin Drvenkar’s serve for the win.