Jaguars play close match against state’s No. 1 team
ALICE -- After wins in both the bi-district and area rounds of playoff competition, the Floresville Jaguar volleyball team traveled to Alice this past week to square off with Mission Veterans Memorial, the state’s No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A.
With a record of 41-0 heading into the match, the Jags knew nothing was going to be easy. Head Coach Starla Jones has been in these situations before, though, and she was determined not to let her team lose the match mentally before it ever got started.
In the first game of the regional quarterfinal match, Veterans Memorial got out in front, but the Jags came back to tie things up at 3-all, and to pull ahead 5-3. The Lady Patriots came back, though, quickly tying the game at 5-5, and then jumping out to a 10-5 lead before Jones called a timeout. Floresville sophomore Kristyn Coldewey came up with a block to win the next point, but a Jaguar service error gave a point right back to Veterans Memorial.
Floresville struggled to keep pace from there, and it quickly became clear to the Jags that the Lady Patriots were worthy of their ranking. Jones called another timeout with the score 19-10, but Floresville could do nothing to correct the course, as Veterans Memorial cruised to a 25-10 victory.
The Lady Patriots scored the first point of the second game, but a great shot from Jaguar junior Sarina Thompson off the back row quickly evened things out. The Jags rallied around each other and rolled off 6 more points, taking a 7-1 advantage and prompting Veterans Memorial to call for time.
The Lady Patriots earned the next point, but Floresville didn’t back down and regained the serve. The Jags held a 10-6 advantage, and were up 15-10 at the midway point. Veterans Memorial tried to fight back with its play at the net, but Floresville’s defense was great, and the Jags locked up a game-two victory, 25-19.
The back-and-forth play continued through the next two games, as Veterans Memorial won the third, and Floresville won the fourth. The Lady Patriots had never been pushed into a five-game match this season, and their stamina was about to be tested.
Veterans Memorial scored the first point in the race to 15, but a Coldewey block quickly tied the score. The Jags moved ahead by a point, but a service error tied things at 2-2. The two teams traded blows as the score was often tied. It was 3-3, and then 8-8. At 10-10, it became clear it was either team’s match to win.
A Floresville service error broke the tie, and gave Veterans Memorial an 11-10 lead. The Jags won the next point to tie the game at 11-all, and 2 points later they were tied at 12-12. The Lady Patriots won the next point to take a 13-12 lead, and Jones called for another timeout. Veterans Memorial won the next point to take a 14-12 lead, but Floresville pulled within a point at 14-13. The Jags were unable to tie things up again, however, as the Lady Patriots won the next point, the game, and the match.
For Mission Veterans Memorial, it ended as it was “supposed to.” For Floresville, it was a season-ending game, and a match that won’t soon be forgotten. With only four seniors on this year’s squad, the Jaguars will be hungry for a potential rematch in 2014.