By Alonzo Garza
You have to believe! You just have to believe that the Lockhart Lady Lions can deliver when they have to and they will. If you were not at the Lockhart High School gym on Tuesday, Aug 21 you missed a spectacular night of high school volleyball. You didn’t just miss out on exciting, action packed games and great plays, you missed an opportunity to witness a miraculous comeback by the Lady Lions.
The Lockhart Lady Lions came back from losing the first two games. With a strong belief in themselves as a team and sheer will power they literally wore down the Gonzalez Lady Apaches and won the last three out of five games. The Lady Apaches could not figure out what hit them. They left the LHS Lion Gym visibly disappointed and bewildered and understandably so, since the first two games ended with Gonzalez winning with scores of 26-24 and 25-19.
“I told the kids after we lost the second game …this is a defining moment here,” said Head Volleyball Coach Melinda Kirst. “We have to learn how to win in five. It’s going to take a lot of guts and a lot of fight, but we can do it.”
And they did. The Lady Lions came back with a vengeance and won the last three games with scores of 25-16, 25-20 and 15-5. The Lady Apaches were tough competition, but the Lady Lions demonstrated how tough they could be. The Lady Lion teams look promising.
The junior varsity and freshman teams did an outstanding job as well. They played hard and kept the Lady Apaches on their toes. The junior varsity won two games and lost one with scores of 25-22, 23-25 and 25-21. The freshman team won the first two games with scores of 25-20 and 25-12.
The 2007 Lady Lions volleyball teams are off to a great start this season. They beat Manor 25-7, 25-16, and 25-15 during an excellently executed season opener on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The Lady Lions had to play their first game at the Lockhart High School old gym, but that small change obviously did not affect their game strategy. The Lady Lions Varsity team totally outplayed their competition.
The Lady Lions junior varsity team was also on fire Tuesday night, taking out the Manor JV team in just two 25-13 games. The JV Lady Lions never let up. They started out strong and just kept building a stronger defense and offense along the way.
The Lady Lions freshman team did not fare as well. They started out with a promising 25-17 win and then fell to Manor’s freshman team on the second match with a 14-25 score.
The third and final match was a heart breaking loss for the young Lady Lions. They fought hard all the way to the end but gave up the game with a 23-25 final score.
The Varsity and junior varsity teams started with a 1-0 record. The freshman team had to start their season at 0-1.
“Everybody was really pleased with our games,” Kirst said of the Manor games. “I was pleased with our first game. We completely dominated the whole first game. During the second game, we sort of played at their level. It was pretty even until the end. The third game was also even at first, then we got back into our way of playing.”
Kirst stressed the importance of having the teams gel in all aspects of the game. She said that the students had all responded very well to her and their new outlook on the season.
“What we’re trying to do is have the teams buy into an…’anyone comes into our gym, we own it!’ mentality,” she said.
The teams seem on board with the new positive “believe” attitude. They certainly have been tearing up the competition. Last week the teams participated in a volleyball tournament in Navarro and ended up with a second place trophy.
On Thursday, Aug. 16 the Varsity team started the Navarro Volleyball Tournament by winning the pool and moving on with the following wins. They beat Elgin 25-22 and 26-24, Randolph 25-14 and 25-16 and Luling with scores of 25-19 and 25-23.
On Friday, Aug. 17 the Varsity team beat Luling again with scores of 25-19, 25-17 and 25-15.
On Saturday, Aug. 18 they beat George West 25-20 and 28-26 to move on to the semi-finals. The Lady Lions beat Navarro 15-25, 25-23 and 25-22 only to lose to La Vernia in the finals with scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 23-25 and a heartbreaking 12-15.
Before their phenomenal win on Tuesday, August 21 against the Gonzalez Lady Apaches and coming off a winning week, Coach Kirst was already proud of her Lady Lions. “We are very excited,” she said, “to end our first week with a 7-1 record and winning a trophy. The kids did a great job. Our legs just got a little too tired during the last game”
Kirst could not be happier with her team. She ended her first week on a high note and a warm reception from the school and the community. “This is a tremendous group to work with and I am very excited for the next weeks” said Kirst. We wish her continued success. Let’s get out to the volleyball games and support our Lady Lions. See you at the game.