SKIDMORE – The Taft Lady Greyhounds have been a thorn in the sides of the Skidmore-Tynan Lady Cats for the entirety of Holly Vasquez’s tenure as the team’s volleyball coach.
The Lady Cats turned the tables on Tuesday night.
With the Lady Hounds in town seeking to give their coach Tasha Wilson her 600th career victory, Vasquez’s Lady Cats claimed a three-set sweep over their rivals from down Highway 181.
“That was a big incentive,” Vasquez said about preventing Wilson from collecting the milestone victory. “I asked the girls if they wanted to watch somebody jump around on your court after beating you and then getting a plaque for it.
“I think that put them in check. They didn’t want that to happen.”
The Lady Cats, Vasquez said, were well-prepared to face Taft in the district opener for both teams.
“Our serve-receive was really good and at yesterday’s practice, the serve-receive is what we really emphasized on,” she said. “And we worked on doing something other than swinging on a ball, like looking to push it to the corners, which we knew would be open. And we really worked on covering the tips.”
The first set was the only set in question on the night.
It was a back-and-forth affair that swung in Taft’s favor late when the Lady Hounds moved to set point at 24-22.
The Lady Cats won the next two points to stay alive, though.
The two teams then traded the next two points to make it 25-25 before the Lady Cats won the final two points for a 27-25 win.
The Lady Cats (19-5) then dominated the second set, winning 25-16 for a two sets to none lead over the Hounds.
In the third set, Skidmore jumped out to a big lead and cruised to a 25-19 win to clinch the victory.
“The girls knew what they had to do,” said Vasquez. “I think they won more mentally than they did physically.
“... We still had a lot of errors, but us playing smart I think helped offset the errors.”
The win gave Skidmore its first District 29-3A triumph of the season.
“Our district is up in the air,” Vasquez said about going to 1-0 in district play. “I told (the girls) that we needed to win every game that we could.”
Jackie Hernandez turned in one of her most complete performances of the year to lead the Lady Cats to the victory.
The senior recorded a triple-double with 20 kills, 16 assists and 13 digs. She also had three aces and a solo block in the win.
Katryna Hernandez had a double-double for the Lady Cats, recording 11 kills and a team-best 22 digs. She also had three aces and three solo blocks.
Avea Gonzales also had a double-double in the win, recording a team-best 17 assists to go with 15 digs. She added three aces, two kills and a solo block.
Jasmine Terry had 21 digs for the Lady Cats, while Mari Gonzales had four kills and five digs.
The Lady Cats went a perfect 6-0 to claim the championship at the Banquete tournament last week.
In pool play, the Lady Cats beat Ingleside in two sets (25-20, 25-15), Hebbronville in two sets (25-17, 25-7) and Benavides in two sets (25-9, 26-24).
In bracket play, Skidmore-Tynan rolled through Banquete, Robstown and Three Rivers.
The Lady Cats beat Three Rivers 25-17, 25-9 to open tournament play, then beat Robstown 26-24, 25-12 to secure a spot in the championship match.
The Lady Cats downed host Banquete in three sets to win the tournament title. Banquete won the first set 25-21, but the Lady Cats won the second set 25-8 and claimed the title with a 25-20 win in the third set.
For the tournament, K. Hernandez had 43 kills, 87 digs, 18 aces and nine blocks, while J. Hernandez had 31 kills, 32 digs, 47 assists, 13 aces and three blocks.
M. Gonzales had 28 kills and nine blocks, while A. Gonzales totaled 44 assists, 30 digs and 11 aces. Adriana Flores recorded 20 digs and had 10 aces. Terry recorded 55 digs and Samantha Gutierrez had 28 digs.