STEPHENVILLE—Unforced errors and poorly placed hits doomed Stephenville here Wednesday, in a 3-1 loss to class 5A Abilene in non-district volleyball play.

“We just didn’t play smart, and we had a lot of unforced errors,” Stephenville Head Coach Fran Metzger said.

The Honeybees committed 28 hitting errors while recording 40 kills in the loss. The Bees tallied a remarkably low .009-hitting percentage.

Stephenville also hurt itself with serves directly to AHS’ best passer, setting up Madison Reyes and Caroline Cleveland for kills at the net.

The best part of the night was the start for the Bees, as they took game one, 25-17.

Stephenville led 22-11 before allowing Abilene to edge closer. AHS pulled to within seven before sophomore Christina Murphy scored the winning point with a well placed tip that landed softly in the middle of the court on Abilene’s side of the net.

In game two, the Bees got into trouble early. Abilene jumped out to a 12-7 lead thanks mostly to four Stephenville hits that landed out of bounds.

The Bees bounced back, and after one of MaKayla Elliott’s 10 kills, an Abilene service error knotted the score at 14-14.

Hilde Talsma, who finished the match with eight kills, tied the tally at 15-15 with a hard spike at the net, but it was all AHS from that point.

Five of the next six points went to Abilene, as the Eagles added three kills to two Stephenville errors. The Honeybees never recovered, falling 25-21

The Bees looked to be back on track with two quick points to start game three, but Abilene went on a 6-2 run to move ahead.

SHS battled back to first tie the score, then take the lead on successive kills by Claire Goodman and Kelsey Anglin.

The 9-8 advantage proved to be Stephenville’s only lead of the game. Abilene ripped off an 8-2 run to build a 16-11 advantage before Metzger called a timeout.

The break in the action didn’t slow the Eagles from reaching full flight. The Honeybees never pulled to withing five during the stretch run, and a block by Reyes provided the winning point in a 25-18 final.

Game four was tight the entire way, with the score being tied on 18 different occasions.

A 3-0 run by Abilene sealed it. Right on par for the night, the point that began the clinching run came on a Stephenville hitting error. AHS took the victory, 25-22.

The loss drops to Stephenville to 6-6 on the year. This weekend is the final tune-up before District 8-4A play begins Tuesday.

SHS will compete in the CenTel Ragin’ Rattler tournament in San Marcos Friday and Saturday.