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Cuero hands Lady Bulldogs first district loss

By Keldy Ortiz - K
Oct. 1, 2013 at 5:01 a.m.


CUERO - Missy Odom doesn't recall the last time Cuero beat Yoakum in volleyball.

Since her freshman year, all she can remember is losing to the Lady Bulldogs, and it has bothered her.

But not anymore.

Cuero (18-10, 2-1) defeated the Lady Bulldogs (14-10, 2-1) in a five-set thriller, 25-9, 25-19, 22-25, 17-25, 15-8 Tuesday night.

"We've been wanting to beat Yoakum," Odom, now a junior, said. "Yoakum, they're good, but this year, we're better."

Not happy about the way she and the team performed in previous years, Odom didn't want to play volleyball anymore. She recalled always losing and not being able to get over the challenge of beating teams she believed the Lady Gobblers had a chance of defeating.

"This year, we just got together and played at our best," Odom said.

Lady Gobblers coach Rebecca Riojas-Fryer told her team to never give up, even when the match went into a fifth and deciding set. She wanted her players to have fun and get a win to continue their quest for a District 26-3A title.

"It's Yoakum. They bring it in everything they do," Riojas-Fryer, whose husband attended Cuero High School, said. "They play hard from the beginning to the end. I told the girls it was going to be a battle."

Having Odom on the team, Riojas-Fryer said, has helped the team when she's playing and even when she's not in the game.

"I love seeing Missy smile. She always smiles when she's done something great," Riojas-Fryer said. "No matter who you are, when you're not having the best game, you can be down on yourself. But she kept her head high and did a fantastic job."

For Yoakum coach Alisha Boysen, Tuesday's game was important if the Lady Bulldogs were to stay perfect in district play. When they played in their first district match of the season, they were down but came back to win. Tuesday's game didn't end the same, but Boysen complimented her team on its effort.

"It shows tremendous character," said Boysen, who previously went to Yoakum. "It shows tremendous character that they actually can be down the way they were in the first game and actually come back and be on top. We're so close."

Odom has thought about the future and sees herself either playing college volleyball or basketball. Having success in volleyball this season has boosted her confidence about playing at the collegiate level. Beating the Lady Bulldogs helped her believe things are possible.

"I just never gave up. I stayed on the team for my team," Odom said. "Tonight proved it all."

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