Shiner sweeps Weimar, wins top spot in district
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HALLETTSVILLE - Saturday's District 26-1A tiebreaker match against the Weimar Lady Cats didn't have the importance of a playoff game, but for junior outside hitter Julianna Rankin, it was 22 days in the making.
"We had been looking forward to it so much," Rankin said. "We got pumped up in the locker room, everyday after practice, before practice, we were building up for this game."
Shiner (26-14, 12-1) swept Weimar 25-16, 25-14, 25-17 in what Rankin called the team's best game.
The win gives Shiner the district's top seed and a first round bye while Weimar plays Somerville in the bi-district playoffs.
The Weimar-Somerville match will likely take place at Pflugerville Connally.
The Lady Comanches edged the Lady Cats on Oct. 5, 3-2. Shiner won the first two games before Weimar took the next two and force the Lady Comanches to win Game 3, 15-10.
Shiner coach Megan Klimitchek said adjustments were needed if the Lady Comanches were to secure the district's top seed.
"We knew they were going to come out ready to play and I made sure that my girls were focused everyday," Klimitchek said.
Rankin had a team high 22 digs to go with 11 kills and Amanise Coleman added 13 kills and Kristin Schacherl chipped in 31 assists.
Shiner's focus was clear, especially from the get-go in Games 1 and 2.
The Lady Comanches distanced themselves with a 9-2 run to begin the opening frame and jumped ahead 12-5 in the second game.
"We just knew what we had to do," said senior outside hitter LaNeshia Hunt. "Come out with a lot of intensity, play our game and come out with a win like we did."
Weimar had trouble mustering a consistent offensive attack all afternoon. The Lady Cats took three consecutive points only three times and led only three times.
"You don't always come in and plan to start that way," said Weimar head coach Megon LeStourgeon. "You want to come in strong and build on it. I think we were a little bit lacking in our confidence today."
Kristie Guerrero led Weimar with seven kills while Madison Vacek had a team-high 14 digs.
The Lady Cats were forced into mistakes and had trouble with their serve-receive throughout the match.
Shiner combined for 20 aces, led by Tamara Hajek's six.
"We kept them out of (their) system and that's what helped us move ahead," Klimitchek said.
Entering the match, Schacherl, Rankin and Lauren Oden had combined for 265 aces this season. Each one among the top in the area in aces.
The Wildcats were able to muster some momentum and make Game 3 the most competitive of the match.
The Lady Comanches never got in front by more than four points and a spike by Tabitha Blaschke clinched the match for Shiner.
"We didn't come out as well as we had been coming out, but we knew what we had to do to pick up our intensity, play our game and just go," Hunt said.