The Travis volleyball team has had to make do with a young team battling several injuries all season long. The lack of depth came back to get the Lady Tigers in a key match on Tuesday.

Travis struggled to get its offense going, while Austin got big kills to swing momentum to the Lady Bulldogs in a 3-1 win at Tiger Gym on Tuesday evening.

Austin beat the Lady Tigers 29-27, 25-20, 24-26, 25-19 to move into second place in District 20-6A, while the loss knocks Travis to a third-place tie with Dulles.

Travis got one of its key players back in sophomore Taylor Glendening, but was still missing senior Alicia Williams from the lineup, which made things tougher for the Lady Tigers.

“We just got Taylor back, so we’re trying to move people around and see what’s best,” Travis head coach Nicole Hitt said. “Ultimately, Austin just outplayed us today.”

Travis started out strong in the first set, jumping out to a 14-8 lead. But Austin slowly evened the match thanks to its outside hitting from seniors Shayla Rambo and Stephanie Scipio. Travis got three opportunities to win the set, but Austin fought them all off with big kills. A kill by junior Julie Hanse, followed by two Lady Tiger hitting errors, helped give the Lady Bulldogs the 29-27 win.

The second set started out close, with Travis taking as much as a two-point lead on kills by junior outside hitter Karina Garoni. But a kill by senior Sydney Plemons and two blocks by senior Rachel Pringle helped Austin to rally to take a two-point lead of its own. That lead grew to six points before the Lady Bulldogs won the set by five.

Austin (14-11, 7-3) looked to get the sweep by taking a 15-12 lead, but Travis battled back to tie the match at 22, then kills by freshman Ryan Williams and junior Anna Kate Glath put the Lady Tigers up 24-22. Austin fought off two set points before a Garoni kill and an ace by senior Madysin Leighton gave Travis the set victory.

But it was all the Lady Bulldogs in the fourth set, as Austin went on a 9-3 run to take a 17-11 lead, and held off a late Travis rally to win the set and the match.

Travis (19-15, 6-4) has lost two in a row after going on a four-match winning streak. The Lady Tigers will host first-place Ridge Point on Friday before ending the regular season with three matches against teams that are .500 or worse in district play.

“Our goal is to finish up the rest of district and get better – because we need to – to get ready for the playoffs,” Hitt said.

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