Skidmore-Tynan’s defense was tested by a furious Orange Grove attack, and it stood up exactly the way it needed to in the District 29-3A volleyball opener for both teams Aug. 31.

Six different Lady Cats recorded at least 11 digs in the five-set affair, which Skidmore won 3-2 in Orange Grove.

As a team, Skidmore had a total of 159 digs on the night with both Kaitlyn Salinas and Samantha Gutierrez recording more than 40 apiece.

Salinas recorded a career-best 45 digs to lead the defense, while Gutierrez, the libero, had 41 digs.

Jenna Vasquez also had 20 digs, while Celeste Huerta had 14, Neddia Gonzales had 13 and Mailey Hardin recorded 11. Mariella Gonzales and Kacy Rivers had six apiece.

Orange Grove used its relentless attack to claim a 25-20 win in the opening set, but Skidmore responded by winning the second and third sets by counts of 25-17.

The Lady Bulldogs evened the match at two sets apiece with another 25-20 win in the fourth set.

Skidmore clinched the victory with a 15-13 triumph in the tiebreaking fifth set.

The Lady Cats upped their mark to 16-6 overall with the victory.

M. Gonzales paced a Skidmore offense that tallied 58 total kills on the night by putting down 23.

Vasquez registered 17 kills on the evening to complete a double-double with her 20 digs.

Brandi Cash also reached double figures in kills with 11 on the night.

N. Gonzales added five kills.

Hardin also had a double-double with a career-best 46 assists to go with her 11 digs.

Skidmore-Tynan Lady Cat Invitational

The Lady Cats went 4-2 in six matches at their own tournament, the Skidmore-Tynan Lady Cat Invitational.

On the first day of the tournament, the Lady Cats beat Kenedy and the Banquete junior varsity team before falling to Robstown.

The Lady Cats beat Kenedy in two sets, 25-5 and 25-18.

M. Gonzales had eight kills, two aces and two digs, while Vasquez had three kills and seven digs. N. Gonzales recorded two kills, three digs and one ace. Salinas led in digs with eight. Hardin had a team-best 14 assists.

Skidmore then bested the Banquete JV team in two sets, 25-18 and 25-8.

M. Gonzales had six kills to lead Skidmore. Vasquez registered five kills, two aces and nine digs. Hardin had 11 assists, five digs, two aces and a kill. N. Gonzales tallied six digs, one kill and two aces. Salinas added eight digs.

The Lady Cats finished pool play with a three-set loss to Robstown. The Lady Pickers won the first set 25-21 and the third set 15-12. Skidmore won the second set 25-20.

Cash had eight kills and three blocks to lead Skidmore. M. Gonzales recorded six kills and three aces. Salinas led in digs with 13 to go with four aces and two kills. Vasquez had 12 digs and two kills. Gutierrez had 12 digs and two aces.

In bracket play, Skidmore beat West Oso and Beeville, then fell to the Banquete varsity team.

The Lady Cats beat West Oso in two sets, 25-20, 25-18.

M. Gonzales had 10 kills to go with five digs and two aces in the win. Vasquez added five kills and five digs, while Cash had four kills. N. Gonzales added two kills, two aces and two digs. Hardin had 22 assists, five digs and two aces.

Skidmore bested Beeville in three sets, winning the first set 25-19 and the third set 17-15. Beeville won the second set 25-17.

M. Gonzales had 10 kills and four digs, while Vasquez had five kills, four aces and 13 digs. N. Gonzales contributed five kills, seven digs and two aces. Cash and Salinas both had three kills. Salinas also added 16 digs. Gutierrez tallied 22 digs, and Hardin had 23 assists.

Banquete beat the Lady Cats in three sets. Skidmore won the first set 25-22, but Banquete won the second set 25-18 and the third set 15-13.

M. Gonzales led in kills with seven. She also had four digs and two blocks. Vasquez and Cash both had six kills. Vasquez added 11 digs, while Cash added four blocks. Gutierrez led in digs with 15. Hardin led in assists with 15.

•kkeller@mysoutex.com•

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Kevin J. Keller is the content director for Coastal Bend Publishing and the editor of the Beeville Bee-Picayune. He can be reached by email at sports@mysoutex.com or by phone at 361-343-5223, or you can follow him on Twitter @beepicsports.