Her Trojans struggled out of the gate but showed signs of life during a triangular match at Alice.
On Aug. 23, Beeville finally broke through.
Behind Michaela Fernandez and Ciara Garcia, the Trojans beat district foe Robstown 25-12, 25-21 in the opening round of the bronze bracket at the Sinton tournament.
“It was exciting. ... Game 1, we beat them pretty well,” said Riojas-Fryer about the victory. “Game 2 was a little closer. I just called a timeout and told them, ‘Hey, we’ve been in this situation before, so let’s have a better outcome.’”
Fernandez and Garcia each had three kills in the victory. Garcia also added five aces and two digs.
Alyssa Silva added three assists and two digs, while Sierra Jefferson had four assists.
The meaning was two-fold: It was the first win, but it was also a win over a district opponent.
“It was fantastic,” Riojas-Fryer said, “not just because it was the first win, but it was against a district opponent, so that was a big, big plus. A big confidence booster for the girls.”
The win sparked a streak for the Trojans, who won their next two matches to capture the bronze bracket title.
They beat Refugio 15-25, 29-27, 28-26 in the semifinals and topped Odem 25-17, 25-8 in the championship match.
Against Refugio, Garcia had 11 kills to go with four digs and an ace.
Mackenzie Harvey had seven digs; Silva had eight assists, a block and an ace, and Jefferson had two kills and four assists.
Against Odem, Garcia racked up 11 kills to go with four digs, an ace and an assist.
Margaret Downing had five kills, two blocks and an ace; Silva had eight assists, two kills and a dig, and Harvey added four digs.
“It’s done a lot ... Winning first place in a tournament was huge for them,” said Riojas-Fryer about capturing the tournament title.
In pool play, Tuloso-Midway beat Beeville 25-11, 25-14. Garcia had three kills and six digs, and Downing had three kills, two blocks and a dig.
Yoakum beat the Trojans 25-10, 25-13. Rebecca De Los Santos had three digs.
On Tuesday, the Trojans returned to Marion B. Horton Gymnasium and lost to visiting Ray.
The Texans won 25-12, 25-7, 25-8.
Fernandez had two kills and two assists; Downing had five blocks, Garcia had two kills and 10 digs, and Harvey had seven digs.
The Trojans (3-14) are a little more than a week away from opening district play, and Riojas-Fryer says she knows the areas in which her team needs to improve.
“Our offense has got to get a lot stronger, and these girls have to be able to hit to different spots, not just hit to the same spot,” she said. “They’re going to have to be able to place the ball.
“Our defense needs some work, but I think a lot of it has to do with our blocking and getting that right. Our offense and our blocking have got to improve.”
Kevin J. Keller is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5223, or at sports@mySouTex.com, or follow him on Twitter, @beepicsports.