BURLESON - It was anything but what Stephenville was hoping for in its 3A volleyball debut.
Facing constant pressure from Burleson outside hitter Abby Seamstress, the Honeybees committed too many errors against the 4A Lady Elks, who won in straight sets, 25-18, 25-21, 26-24 in the season opener for both teams at Burleson High School Tuesday night.
The Bees made a valiant rally after falling behind 23-18 in the third set, scoring six straight for a 24-23 edge before the Lady Elks finished strong with the final three points.
A kill by outside hitter Leslie Billings made it 23-19 to begin the late rally, then the Bees pressured Burleson into three consecutive errors before a block by outside hitter Brooke Harvick evened the tally at 23-23.
Another Lady Elk error gave Stephenville set point, and seemingly life in the match. But Seamstress unloaded one final kill shot and Stephenville couldn't get a side out to stay alive. An ace ended it for the Lady Elks.
Stephenville never led in the opening set and finally fell behind by six when Seamstress landed a kill for a 24-18 lead. She slammed home another point to finish the set with four of Burleson's final five points.
The Honeybees came racing into game two, scoring four of the first five with two points coming on Billings aces.
A kill by Stephenville outside hitter Kristin Kaiser made it 7-4 and one by middle blocker Dani Huckabee made it 8-5 before Burleson roared back with five straight points including two on unforced errors by the Bees.
The Lady Elks continued the run, stretching it to 11-2 for a 16-10 lead. Stephenville was never closer than three down the stretch.
"I don't know if we were just nervous because it was the first match, or what," said Stephenville head coach and 500 match winner Fran Metzger. "It was like our heads were never in the game until there at the very end. There were a lot of routine plays that we made difficult. It was just ugly all the way around."
Burleson, coached by former Tarleton State women's basketball player D'anna Dingler Newton, is a 4A playoff regular, and the road gets no easier when the Honeybees make their next stop. They go to Abilene for tournament action Friday and Saturday.
Follow Brad Keith on Twitter @etsports