South San hopes to recapture momentum
To outsiders, it appeared South San’s District 27-6A schedule was backloaded, with the toughest foes toward the end.
Second-year South San coach Patricia Farias views the district differently, now that the Bobcats (10-17, 3-4) are halfway through the grind. South San was in fifth place as the first round concluded following losses to fourth-place Madison (20-12, 4-3) 25-27, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-6 Sept. 25 and first-place Reagan (27-7, 7-0) 25-14, 25-19, 25-21 Sept. 28.
South San won its first three district games, but lost the next four. The Bobcats turned their performance up a notch in 27-5A after battling through a tough non-district schedule. Each of the losses was to teams above them in the district standings.
“The girls have some grit and tenacity,” Farias said. “They got their work in and pulled it together.”
The Bobcats seemed on the verge of victory against Madison, leading 20-15 on a kill from senior standout Gabriella Soto (32 kills, 12 blocks) in Game 3. South San added another point to its lead, but only scored more as the Mavericks rode a dramatic momentum swing.
It carried them through the final two games, thanks to personnel changes in their blocking scheme.
“They’re a tough team,” Madison coach Shannon Wolfe said. “You have to be on your game to get through. I give them credit.”
Service errors and two-hits calls plagued the Bobcats after they pulled out the first game and controlled the second.
Rebecca Lopez supplied 42 assists. Vanessa Benn recorded 38 digs and three aces.
“I’m proud of them,” Farias said after the Madison match. “I’m upset right now, but I can’t stay mad. I think they’ve truly became a family, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
In the second half of the district season, South San hopes to get a lift from senior Sylvia Banda, who complements Soto’s powerful hitting. Banda is working her way back into shape after missing six weeks because of torn cartilage.
“Without her, we’ve had to use all new rotations,” Farias said. “It puts a lot on (Soto’s) shoulders.”
Harlandale 3, Veterans Memorial 1
The third-place Indians (19-5, 8-2) extended their District 26-5A winning streak to six matches with a 25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 25-13 win at Veterans Memorial (5-26, 2-8) Sept. 28.
Category leaders for Harlandale were Divianna Rodriguez (15 kills), Adrienne Galaviz (22 assists), Sirena Hernandez (3 blocks) and Jacline Lopez (19 digs, 3 aces).
The Golden Bears (19-11, 8-2) held third place in District 27-5A after picking up key wins over sixth-place Burbank (13-19, 4-6) 25-22, 21-25, 25-14, 25-17 Sept. 25 and fourth-place Brackenridge (9-13, 6-4) 25-14, 25-11, 25-19 Sept. 28 at Alamo Convocation Center.
Against Brackenridge, Natalie Esqueda led Edison with seven kills. Miranda Trevino and Aylissa Cortinas dealt 12 and 10 assists, apiece. Emerald Garcia-Smith had a team-best 10 digs.
Kaitlyn Flores distributed 16 assists and Evelyn Flores made five digs for Brackenridge.