EC Hornets, Lady Brahmas fall in first round of playoffs
East Central and Stockdale high schools each got new volleyball coaches this year, but both teams found success and qualified for the playoffs. Unfortunately, each team was defeated in the first round of postseason play to end their 2013 seasons.
In class 5A play, the East Central Hornets finished the regular season as the second-place team from District 28-5A. In the bi-district round of playoff competition, the Hornets were aligned with Brandeis, the No. 3 team out of District 27-5A that finished the regular season behind the squads from O’Connor and Clark.
The Hornets gave a good effort during their Nov. 5 bi-district meeting with the Brandeis Lady Broncos, but eventually fell in four games.
The Lady Broncos took the first game by the score of 25-14, but East Central thundered back in the second game to a 25-12 victory. Game three was tight, but Brandeis held on for a 25-23 victory, giving them a one-game lead heading into the fourth. Brandeis picked up a 25-18 win to send them on to the area championship, and for East Central, it marked the end of their 2013 campaign.
The Hornets finish the year with a record of 22-16, but will be in good shape come next season. East Central will lose just three players to graduation, and will return an experienced squad primed to compete for the district title and to make a good run through the postseason.
Down in Class 2A, the Stockdale Lady Brahmas finished fourth in District 28-2A, and were the fortunate recipients of a rule change for 2013 that sent four teams to the playoffs instead of three. The Lady Brahmas finished fourth behind Poth, Schulenburg, and Hallettsville in what is arguably one of the strongest 2A districts in the entire state.
Lining up across the net in the bi-district round of the playoffs for Stockdale was Blanco, the District 27-2A champs. Blanco came out strong to win the first game by the score of 25-14, and secured a game two win by the score of 25-17. The Lady Brahmas made things close in the third, but still fell by the score of 25-22, giving Blanco the victory and the pass into the second round of play.
Like East Central, Stockdale is also fortunate in that it has a young team. Two players will graduate in the spring, but the vast majority of the team will be back, and several talented young players are primed to make a name for themselves and to position Stockdale as a legitimate threat in District 28-2A.
Brandeis def. East Central, 25-14, 12-25, 25-23, 25-18 (bi-district playoff).
Hornets: Kills: Nichole West-9. Assists: Danny Alvarez-8. Aces: West-2, Kaylin Mills-2. Digs: Brandi Campos-33. Blocks: Lindsey Lubianski-2. Overall Record: 22-16.
Blanco def. Stockdale, 25-14, 25-17, 25-22 (bi-district playoff).
Lady Brahmas: Kills: Keana Savage-9. Assists: Vanessa Urrabazo-12. Digs: Lauren Donsbach-8. Blocks: Hanna Deagan-1.