BEEVILLE – Lady Trojan volleyball coach Rebecca Riojas-Fryer knew going into Tuesday’s District 31-4A opener that her team faced an uphill battle against the Rockport-Fulton Lady Pirates.
The sixth-year coach wanted her team to focus on two things in the match – competing and having fun.
“Those were the two main things,” she said. ... “I think in the first game, we forgot about that. Then in Game 3, they had fun and were playing hard, and it showed.”
Rockport-Fulton dispatched the Lady Trojans in three sets in the match, 25-9, 25-15, 25-20.
“We played in waves,” said Riojas-Fryer about the loss. “Even in Game 1, I know we only scored nine points, but we were up and down, and up and down.
“... If we can just be consistent, it will be totally different.”
The visitors led wire-to-wire in the first two sets, but Beeville had the Lady Pirates on the ropes for much of the third set.
Riojas-Fryer made a change in the lineup going into the third set, and it seemed to spark the team.
“I just had to make a change. I don’t know if it was that change or what, but they did very well,” she said about the switch in the rotation that had Allie Estrada back to sharing the setting duties with Tori Garza.
“We had energy on the bench and on the court in that game. We’ve talked to these girls over and over about that; if we have energy, we’re going to be playing, we’re going to be in games.”
Beeville (7-19, 0-1 district) was the first to 20 points in the set and held a three-point edge late before Rockport rallied.
“I think when we get into pressure situations like that, we stop believing in ourselves,” said Riojas-Fryer about the end of the set. “They don’t want the ball to come to them because they don’t want to be the one to make that error.
“... We just need to work on pressure situations.”
Ultimately, it was a three-set loss, but Riojas-Fryer said she did see one thing in particular that she liked from her team.
“We did some great things, like blocking. ... They made some blocks. We had some amazing saves at the net, blocking and then playing off the block,” she said.
Kamaria Gipson led the Lady Trojan offense with seven kills. Jaelyn Smith had three kills, while Estrada and Jade Del Bosque both had two kills. Desiree Gonzales also had a kill for Beeville.
Gipson also had a team-best three aces. Del Bosque recorded two.
Del Bosque led the team in assists with five.
Libero Alisha Flores led the defense with 19 digs. Jessica Barrera had 11 digs, Garza had nine, Estrada had eight, Megan Del Bosque had six, and Gipson and Smith both had five.
In the sub-varsity matches, Rockport-Fulton won the junior varsity contest in two sets (25-15, 25-16) and the freshman contest in two sets (25-16, 25-19).
Beeville 3, Pettus 0
The Lady Trojans picked up their seventh win of the season with a three-set sweep of county rival Pettus last Friday.
The Lady Trojans, playing without their leading hitter in Gipson, won the first set 25-17, the second set 25-19 and the third set 25-21.
Barrera and Carly Knapp paced Beeville with four kills apiece. Estrada and Smith had three each, while Garza and Gonzales had two apiece.
Garza had eight assists, while J. Del Bosque managed six assists.
Barrera had a team-best five digs. Estrada and Smith had four each, Flores recorded three, and J. Del Bosque and Knapp both had two.
Estrada and J. Del Bosque each had 10 aces on the night. Knapp recorded seven aces, Flores had four, Barrera had two and Garza had one.
Smith also recorded two solo blocks.
Beeville won the junior varsity contest in two sets, taking the first 25-10 and the second 25-5.