Started with four; two left in the playoff race—Clark and O’Connor

Tuesday night in gyms across the area three Northside teams hoped to continue along the golden path to the State Championship.  One of the teams came very close, but in the last moments lost momentum.  Clark and O’Connor each dispatched their opponents and are one stop closer.

Quick work; Lady Panthers pounce on Rangers to complete 3 game sweep

The Lady Rangers from Smithson Valley traveled to the Littleton Gym to face the Lady Cougars from Clark.  The Lady Panthers struck quick and unmerciful as they rang six straight unanswered points in the opening minutes of the first match.  The height from Elisa and Kara McGhee combined with the hard hitting skills of Mikayla Ware and the Lady Rangers hope of a victory did not last long. 

Mia Ybarra turned in another stellar performance as her quick steps, nimble movements helped to set the ball so the power hitters from Clark could send the ball over the net. 

Mary Beth Buchman also danced around the floor ready to return the ball.  She continued to dominate the middle of the floor and placed her shots well.

I also witnessed a soft touch from Clark.  As the team continues to mature the girls are learning sometimes less power is more.  Kara and others would gently tap the ball over the net.  This kept the Rangers off balanced as they expected power shot when just a touch would do. 

The Lady Cougars did not need extra sets to complete the victory as they swept the Lady Rangers in three. 

The Lady Cougars will see action again on Friday in the area round of the playoffs when they play Austin Vandergrift.

Rotation for the best; Lady Panthers maul the Lady Cougars to advance to area

Lady Cougars, Lady Cougars, Lady Cougars.  I am sure the O’Connor Lady Panthers wish they could play someone other than Cougars.  OC played the Lady Cougars from Clark three times to determine the first and second place seed for the district.  Then their first playoff game was against the Lady Cougars from New Braunfels Canyon High School.
Unlike the Lady Cougars from Clark the Canyon Lady Cougars did not offer as much resistance.  The Lady Panthers quickly ended the first match behind the strong hands of Allison Fields, Aspen Thompson, Chinelo Ogogor, and Alyssa Tatsch. 

Namoi Sing as the libero also had a great night—maybe not as difficult as previous matches as many of the returns from the Lady Cougars did not fall into the deep end of the O’Connor court.

“Tonight was a total team effort,” said Coach Garcia.  “The players from our bench played well.  Tonight, we had the opportunity to allow more of our bench personnel to play.  They provided a strong showing.  Rotation for the best was key to tonight’s victory.”

The Lady Panthers face Westlake in the area round of the playoffs.

So close; heartache in Boerne as Lady Bears fall to the Unicorns

The Lady Bears almost pulled off the upset of the year, as they battled the Lady Unicorns from New Braunfels to five matches before losing the last match 17 to 15. The Lady Bears jumped out to a one match lead over the heavily favored Unicorns.  The Lady Bears dominated the floor during the first match.

The Lady Unicorns fought back in the second match taking the game with a 25 to 20 score.

The Lady Bears rebounded in third set.  Behind the senior leadership of Makenna Hanssen and her speed on the court, the Unicorns fell quickly in match 3 25 to 18. 

The Lady Bears could not keep Lady Momentum as the dance partner during the fourth set.  For some athletes, it’s a hard lesson to learn—Lady Momentum is never a loyal partner.  She may start the dance with one partner, and in a second or millisecond, she will sash shay across the room grab the hand of the other and dance the night away.  The Lady Bears lost the fourth set 25 to 22.

In the final set, the two teams traded points between each other.  The Lady Bears refused to give in or give up but when the game ended the Unicorns won the fifth and final set 17 to 15.  This game ended the Lady Bear’s season.

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