A rivalry in the making? (video)
St. Joseph hasn't faced Victoria West on the volleyball court very much, but Tuesday night's game for the Lady Flyers was more than just a game.
"We wanted to win this really bad," St. Joseph senior Peyton Cuellar said. "Everybody looks at us as St. Joe, but we practice just as hard, play just as hard, and I think we're able to win against whoever we want."
The Lady Flyers (2-0) proved they could beat anybody they want with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-21 25-20) win over the Warriors (0-1).
"It was pretty big to beat one of the public schools that thinks they can just beat a private school," senior Lady Flyer Natalie Bales said. "It's pretty good to beat West."
Despite both schools being in Victoria, St. Joseph and West have only recently started facing one another in the regular season. The two schools have seen one another in summer leagues.
"We play them three or four times in the summer, so we're pretty familiar with them," Bales said. "They had a lot of new players on the court tonight, though."
For the Warriors, however, Tuesday night wasn't a rivalry match. It was the first game of the season and it didn't go as planned.
An inexperienced West squad couldn't overcome its own mistakes against the Lady Flyers, who weren't perfect themselves.
"Tonight (Tuesday) was much better than last night (Monday)," St. Joseph coach Allyson Griffin said. "We looked solid. We looked like a unit. It was leaps and bounds better."
The second and third games of the night saw the Lady Flyers build a large lead, as much as six in Game 2 and eight in game three. But the Warriors fought back every time.
"We don't give up," Longoria said. "We know we'll get in some holes, but we can fight out of them. We'll be fine, make some changes and adjustments, but with an inexperienced team, just getting repetitions on the court will help."
Down 7-1 early in the second game, the Warriors scrapped their way back into the game, tying the game at 15-15 before St. Joseph ended the game on a 10-6 run.
Game three saw a similar story, this time, though, the Lady Flyers built a 14-6 lead before the Warriors mounted their comeback.
After closing to within two points, the Warriors saw St. Joseph pull away, but quickly reigned them in to make it 19-18.
St. Joseph scored the match's final three points to claim the Lady Flyers' second win of the season.
"It feels good to beat them in three (games)," Griffin said.