The Navarro Lady Dawgs didn’t pull off an upset of No. 8 San Jacinto College on Wednesday night at the K. and Ida Special Events Center.

But that didn’t stop coach Wally Brooks from commending his players for their aggressive effort in a narrow 23-25, 25-20, 21-25, 22-25 loss to the second highest-ranked Texas team in the latest NJCAA national poll.

It was a good match for the Lady Dawgs to prepare for their first district match at home against the state’s top ranked team, No. 5 Blinn at 6 p.m. Monday.

“I really liked the way our kids played tonight,” Brooks said. “Every set was in doubt in the mid-20s. We were just a point here and there from winning it.”

San Jacinto had the excuse of not playing a match for 18 days because of Hurricane Ike, but still standout players like Julia Teixeira of Brazil and Susanna Cizova of the Czech Republic were on the top of their game, and still Navarro (10-10) was in every set.

“We had a lot of rest because of the hurricane,” Cizova said. But we worked out and we were back on our game.”

Navarro took charge of the second set and then 20-19 in the third, but a few key errors helped San Jacinto rally to take a 2-1 lead.

The Lady Dawgs trailed 11-16 in the fourth set and showed great heart by battling back to tie San Jacinto five times, including at 21-21. Teixeira kind of took over the match from there with two kills and a block to wrap up the match.

Navarro libero frustrated San Jacinto’s hitters with 29 digs. Tracey Rosenhauer and Megan Helal had 14.

Helal had 11 kills, Rosenhauer nine and Amanda Lowe had seven. Lowe made only one error.

Setters Tirisha Dirmeyer and Kelsi Reynolds had 17 and 16 assists and were also both perfect on their services.

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