Lady Bears win area title, continue with playoff run
LA VERNIA -- Last week was good for the Lady Bear volleyball team. The girls had earned a first-round bye in the playoffs, won a warm-up match with Schulenburg, and then gone on to defeat Liberty Hill in the area championship. As a result, the La Vernia team has advanced to the regional quarterfinals.
A warm-up is intended to get a team ready for the stiffer competition of the playoffs, and it did exactly that for La Vernia. Schulenburg proved to be a formidable opponent, and pushed the Lady Bears to a fifth game.
Schulenburg came out and won the first game by the score of 25-19, but La Vernia rallied back in the second game to win 25-21. With things tied up, the Lady Bears outlasted Schulenburg to take the third game 26-24, but slipped in the fourth to lose 25-20. With both teams owning a pair of game victories, the match moved on to a fifth and final game, with a shorter race to 15. In the end, it was the Lady Bears who won, 15-9.
Claire LaHue and Natalie Baker led the attack with 14 and 11 kills, respectively, and Brittani Dear, Alex Cruz, Valarie Moehrig, Kristen Dennehy, Kayla Markgraf, and Teresa Shoemake also got in on the scoring action. Cruz kept the ball moving en route to a 41-assist match, and Baker and Dear each pitched in another 2 assists. Shoemake, LaHue, and Cruz each earned service aces for La Vernia.
Markgraf generally leads the team in digs, and she did it again against Schulenburg as she tallied 15 for the match. Dear pulled up 10 digs, and Baker was good for another 7. Amber Duelm, Cruz, Shoemake, and LaHue contributed as well. Cruz led the team in blocks, followed by Baker, Moehrig, and Dennehy.
The Lady Bears began their 2011 playoff run Nov. 5, as the Lady Bears squared off with Liberty Hill. La Vernia ran away with the first game by the score of 25-9, but met with some resistance in the second game. Liberty Hill made it a contest, though the Lady Bears still got the win, 25-22. In the third game of the match, Liberty Hill left everything on the court, and a decision couldn’t be made in “regulation play.” Needing to win by 2 points, the teams continued to battle until La Vernia finally got the win, 30-28.
The Lady Bear defense was also impressive, as Markgraf led the way with 10 digs, followed by Dear, Cruz, and Baker with 9, 7, and 5, respectively. Baker, Moehrig, Dennehy, Cruz, LaHue, and Dear all registered blocks during the match.
The victory gave La Vernia the area championship, and advanced them into the regional quarterfinals. The Lady Bears were scheduled to face their nemesis, Wimberley, Nov. 8, but results were unavailable as of press time. Wimberley has knocked La Vernia out of the playoffs more times than Coach Theresa Reyes would like to remember, but knows her team can beat the Lady Texans. La Vernia topped Wimberley during tournament play earlier this year, and should believe that it can do it again.
For playoff results and information, visit www.wilsoncountynews.com.