Lady Lions continue to face challenges in district, tourney play
This past week the Lady Lions played in the very tough Rebel Bash Volleyball Tournament at Hays High School. The Lions opened up pool play against two good 5-A programs.
In the morning match the Lions faced Georgetown, to whom they fell in straight games, 21-25 and 14-25. According to Coach Jeff Witte, the Lady Lions came out playing very inspiring volleyball.
e opening game went back and forth. Late in the game, with the score notched up the officials called the Lady Lions for being out of rotation. The call cost Lockhart a point a loss of service.
“After watching the film I still do not see where we were out of rotation,” Witte said. “They said we had the wrong girl serving yet the film shows we were in the correct order.”
Witte explained that such things sometimes happen, but the team was upset about the call, and instead of moving past it, the girls took the decision into the next game.
Camille Clay and Kelly Witte led the attack with three kills apiece. Ashley Johnson and Ashley Moore led the defensive effort with six digs apiece. Shelby Henrichs had seven assists followed by Meredith Moore with four.
The Lady Lions then played a rematch against the San Marcos Lady Rattlers, who they faced last week during the San Marcos tournament.
In the first meeting, the Lady Rattlers outplayed the Lady Lions in two straight games, and the Lady Lions came into this week”s match looking for payback.
“Behind some excellent play on the Lady Lions” part, we put up an outstanding fight,” Witte said.
The Lady Lions fell in three to the Lady Rattlers, 15-25, 25-22 and 25-21.
K. Witte led the Lions both offensively and defensively, with seven kills and 11 digs. C. Clay followed with five kills, while Henrichs had eight digs. Hinnenkamp came up with five digs, followed by A. Moore with four. Henrichs led the assist category with 10 followed by M. Moore with seven. Hinnenkamp and A. Moore each had three kills.
“I felt our girls outplayed San Marcos in this match especially the last two games and deserved to win but San Marcos came out on top,” Witte said. “I was very proud of the way the girls played. They showed a lot of heart and character and I truly feel they deserved to win the match.”
On Saturday the Lady Lions returned to Hays and were seeded in the silver bracket.
They opened play early that morning against Manor, in what proved to be a very hard fought match from start to finish. The Lady Lions won the opening game 25-22 and then fell in the next two games by scores of 22-25 and 20-25.
“We had plenty of opportunities to win this match in both the second and third game and did not take advantage of them,” Witte said. “Right now we are not finishing games like we did earlier in the year. We need to develop more of a killer instinct and put teams away late in the games when the opportunities present themselves.”
Henrichs led the Lions with 10 assists, followed by M. Moore with nine and Andrea Carter with five. K. Witte led the Lady Lions in kills with 12 followed, by Jenee Clay with five and C. Clay with three. K. Witte also had ten digs, followed by the trio of Hinnenkamp, Johnson and A. Moore with six each. J. Clay led blocking with 1.5 blocks.
The loss to Manor put the Lady Lions in an elimination match against the Elgin Lady Wildcats.
The Lady Lions came out on top of the “elimination match,” playing outstanding volleyball and taking the match in two straight games, 25-15 and 25-13.
According to Witte, the match was something of a “grudge match,” as the Lady Lions fell twice to Elgin during district play last year. This time, the Lady Lions would not be outplayed, and dominated the match from start to finish.
Defensively, Lockhart was led by K. Witte with seven digs, followed by Hinnenkamp, Johnson and A. Moore with two each. K. Witte also led the offensive attack with eight kills, followed by the Clay twins with four each, and Johnson and A. Moore with two each. Natalie Raemsch picked up three kills, and Henrichs and M. Moore each had eight assists to lead that category. This put the Lady Lions in the consolation game of the silver bracket against Taylor.
The match against Taylor was a well-played match by both teams.
Earlier this year, the Taylor Lady Ducks defeated the Lady Lions on their home turf. During tournament play, Taylor prevailed again, winning in two hard-fought matches, 25-23 and 27-25.
“Overall I was pleased with the way the Lady Lions played,” Witte said. “We have just got to develop more of a killer instinct and finish off our opponents when the opportunities are there.”
Witte noted that on at least two occasions, the Lady Lions had opportunities to turn the tide on the match with Taylor, but let the opportunities slip through their grasp. One such instance was when Lockhart fought to a 23-20 lead in the second game, before falling 27-25.
Again, K. Witte led the pack defensively with eight digs. Hinnenkamp and Heinrichs picked up three digs each, while A. Moore, Mariah Carter and A. Johnson each had two. Offensively, K. Witte had eight kills, followed by C. Clay with five, Hinnenkamp with four and A. Moore, J. Clay, M. Carter and Raemsch with two kills each. M. Moore picked up 14 assists, followed by Heinrichs with five and A. Carter with three.
Lady Lions vs.
Between tournament play, the Lady Lions traveled to the home of the top-ranked defending State Champions, the New Braunfels Unicorns. The Lady Lions fell in three games to the Unicorns, 13-25, 14-25 and 8-25.
“I believe we went into this game intimidated by their ranking and thus played like it,” Witte said. “I thought we would put up a better fight against the Unicorns than we did.”
As the Lady Lions progress in district play, Witte said they will have to get stronger mentally and kick it up a notch. This year”s reorganized District 26-4A holds several state-ranked volleyball programs.
K. Witte and C. Clay each contributed four kills to the offensive effort. Hinnenkamp led the defense with 14 digs, while K. Witte and A. Moore picked up 10 each. Heinrichs had seven assists and M.Moore had six.
“It is going to be extremely important to see how we respond in our next few district games,” Witte said. “With out a doubt we have the toughest start to district as we open with the three best teams that are all state ranked. If we can survive this part of the schedule and stay focused on what we are trying to accomplish things will hopefully turn around in our favor.”
(Courtesy of Jeff Witte)