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Lady Rattlers unable to top New Braunfels at home

San Marcos Volleyball
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

San Marcos struggled to find a rhythm. 

San Marcos (15-28, 1-11 district) clashed with I-35 district foe New Braunfels (28-17, 8-4) in Tuesday night’s matchup. The Lady Unicorns came into the game winning their last nine sets as they looked to continue their dominance on the road. The play above the net paved the way for a sweep over the hosts, as the visitors won the match 3-0 (25-14, 25-8, 25-16).

In the initial set, the Lady Rattlers fell behind early but fought back in it in order to cut the lead to one point. Senior outside hitter Jordan Helbig recorded a kill from out of bounds. That was followed by junior setter Julia Antu finding sophomore middle blocker Emery Jones over the middle, which the defense couldn’t get to. Service errors from both teams tied the set, 10-10. New Braunfels scored four unanswered points, but Helbig halted the run with her second kill of the night. The visitors had three serving aces towards the end of the set, separating the teams and awarding them the 25-14 win over the hosts.

New Braunfels picked up right where they left off in the first set with an 11-0 run, eventually ended by a tip pass from Helbig. The Lady Rattlers couldn’t find offensive consistency throughout the set from there. Even though it was out of reach, the hosts continued to play through their struggles by getting some blocks upfront from junior middle blocker Samantha Booth.

Booth’s block left San Marcos trailing 21-6 as the Lady Unicorns kept putting the pressure on the Lady Rattlers’ defense with powerful kills. The visitors took set two, 25-8.

“It just seemed like nothing was working,” head coach Michelle Moreno said. “ We did different formations, made some subs and I think it was more of a mental thing more than anything because I know they can play better than that. And that showed in the first set. They had a few sparks at the end of this set and we went in better in the third so it’s hard to say what went wrong.”

New Braunfels returned to the court looking to keep its streak alive. Sophomore middle hitter Morgan Baese set the tone with the first kill of the set. The visitors got out to an 18-12 lead before the Lady Rattlers could put together some points for themselves. A couple of missed opportunities at the net and service errors ended the night for the hosts, rewarding the Lady Unicorns the set, 25-16, and the sweep, 3-0.

The Lady Rattlers will be on the road for the last time this season when they take on Smithson Valley at 7:30 p.m. this Friday. Even though the playoffs are out of reach for this team, senior libero Julia Gutierrez is chasing the school record for digs (701) currently held by former defensive specialists Celie Contreras. The senior has 683 digs over her career on only needs 19 more to break the record. She is also on track to break two more records including serving percentage and serve/receive, meaning her play will be important the next couple of games. 

Moreno praised her libero for the year she’s having for this team.

“Julia has been consistent all year, serving, hustling, effort,” Moreno said. “She’s leading us in digs and she’s finishing the season strong. She’s been working hard all year and is determined.”

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666