Lienemann has 16 kills as East beats Edna
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The Victoria East Titans knew that if the Edna Cowgirls were going to ride out of Victoria with a road win against a Class 4A opponent, they would do so on the back of junior outside hitter Madison Kucera.
Against one of the area's top offensive players, the Titans front line and defense stepped up.
Alicia Hernandez had nine digs and Morgan Lienemann added 16 kills to lead the Titans to a 25-13, 25-19, 25-18 sweep of the Cowgirls on Tuesday.
"We knew almost every single time they were going to set her, front row or back row," Lienemann said.
The win gives East a 1-0 record on the young season while Edna drops to 0-1. East held Kucera to eight kills.
Lienemann said was in a summer league Kucera and the Titans knew the outside hitter was the primary focus of the Cowgirl offense.
"We just started reading her better and knew where she was going to hit by where her body was turning," Hernandez said.
Lienemann added three blocks while Hernandez also had three aces.
Madison Hawkins and Destani Villarreal combined for 29 assists and Kali Meyer chipped in seven digs.
It was the season opener for the Titans and in the first game adrenaline and jitters usually go hand-in-hand.
This was apparent during the match as the Cowgirls jumped out to early leads in all three games.
The teams were tied or leading through the first 10 points in the first pair of games, but East put Edna in a 18-11 hole in Game 3.
"It's the first game so we're still trying to figure out where we belong, where we go, where out strengths and weaknesses are," said East coach Jamye Pauley.
"I looked at the score and it was 1-0 and they were up every single time we started. We knew we had to pull out of the hole and start off strong." said Lienemann about Game 3.
Tuesday marked the first game for the Cowgirls under first-year coach Rachel Collins.
Collins said that a match for the Class 2A Cowgirls against the Class 4A Titans was a test she wanted the team to go through.
The new coach and players won't have very long to get to know each other prior to beginning District 30-2A play since being in an eight-team district means fewer non-district and tournament games.
"I felt they gave it all they had, (but) we still have a lot to work on," Collins said..
Drew Ganem led the team with 32 digs and Caroline Arrellano added 12 digs for the Cowgirls defensively.
The Titans play in their first tournament of the season on Friday and Saturday at the Corpus Christi ISD Tournament.
East returns home on Aug. 21 when they host the St. Joseph Lady Flyers.
Hernandez added that just like other teams, the Titans have improvements to make between the first and second games of the year.
"We just have to have better starts in our games and keep finishing strong," Hernandez said.