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Volleyball: Pasadena Memorial holds off Atascocita

October 10, 2018

PASADENA - Atascocita’s Julianna Rodriguez knew what was on the line Tuesday night against Pasadena Memorial.

The sophomore outside-hitter and the Lady Eagles had a chance to improve their odds of making the playoffs against the Lady Mavericks.

Atascocita came up short.

The Lady Eagles lost a five-set thriller to Pasadena Memorial 10-25, 28-26, 25-18, 18-25, 17-15 at the Mavericks gym.

“Well first I was super nervous,” Rodriguez said. “We had a chance to get into a good spot in district and we needed this win. We just came up short at the end, but we gave it all we have in five sets.”

The Lady Eagle and Lady Mavericks battled back and fourth in the fifth set, but it was the Lady Eagles errors that cost them the match late.

“Errors got us,” said Atascocita head coach Dani Walker. “Missed serves, blocking errors and we couldn’t close the block. It came down to just being in the moment and playing efficient volleyball instead of playing sloppy volleyball. It’s the second round of district and we can’t make mistakes like we did in the first round.”

The Lady Eagles were out of sync in the first set, but willed their way to back-to-back wins in the second and third set.

“Once my adrenaline started going, it was just volleyball,” Rodriguez said. “We started communicating more out there and playing as a team and feeding off of one another.”

After the first set, Walker’s message to the Lady Eagles was simple in the huddle before they took the court.

“I basically told them, ‘do you want to go home or do you want to fight to get into the playoffs?’ Walker said. “There was fight in every single one of them and we had players come off the bench and step up and played some big roles for us. They never quit.”

“I have been preaching to the girls, the next step,” Walker said. “We have been telling the girls that since we played Kingwood that we want to go out and execute our game plan and win. We have watched film from the first half of district to correct out mistakes. We went four sets with Dobie the first time we played them and now we have to protect home court on Friday.”

The loss didn’t help with Atascocita’s chance of making the playoffs, but it makes the Friday night match against Dobie, who sits in fourth place, a must win match to keep the Lady Eagles playoff hopes alive.

Dobie was swept by Kingwood on Tuesday night.

Dobie is 14-15, 7-5 while the Lady Eagles are 17-18, 6-6 with three district matches left in the regular season.

The Lady Eagles lost to the Lady Longhorns in four sets in the first round of district play at Dobie, but will be looking to take care of the homecourt advantage this time.

“We’re going to be at home with our loud student section and we’re going to be ready for Dobie on Friday,” said senior outside hitter/middle blocker Carmyn Baughman. “We know we have to beat Dobie and we have to give them everything that we have. We fought hard, but we’re going to have to stay positive and communicate against Dobie.”

marcus.gutierrez@chron.com

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