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Victoria's crosstown rivals hit the court

By Julie Garcia
Sept. 16, 2013 at 4:16 a.m.

Victoria East coach Jamye Pauley said the team  focuses on being unified during games. The Lady Titans will host the Victoria West Warriors on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Victoria East volleyball coach Jamye Pauley said it burns after any loss, especially one against crosstown rival Victoria West.

"What you take away is that you want to go back in there, and in the next year, we work harder, fight harder and win," Pauley said. "As an athlete, as a competitor, (you want) to go in and take care of business."

In the last three seasons, the Lady Titans have pulled together to win a few games against the Warriors but have been defeated in all of the matches.

Pauley's team will have a chance to change that trend Tuesday at Victoria East when the teams square off for the first time this season.

"It's always an exciting game for the kids," said West coach Sandy Longoria. "My seniors have played for West in one capacity or another, so they understand the rivalry that exists in all the sports, not just volleyball."

Both teams are coming off losses from the games they played Friday. West lost 3-2 against Schulenburg, which is ranked No. 2 in Class 2A.

Schulenburg's quick and fast blocking technique was something Longoria's team had to adjust to, she said.

"It was just about finding ways to score against the bigger blockers and not having enough patience, which could be a sign of our youth," Longoria said.

Some of Longoria's younger players, like defensive specialists Shelby Spradley and Haley Bynum, have been major assets to the court, she said.

"I expect for the DS to hit whatever hits East sends over; I've been really impressed with their defense game after game," Longoria said.

Another junior, Brooke Kirkpatrick, has rarely left the court this season.

"She plays the middle for us, but she's versatile; she can do front and back and responsibilities," she said. "She can pass well; she plays defense but can attack and block - not a lot of people can do that consistently."

As for East, Pauley said that her team focuses on staying unified in practice and during games.

"We have to be a team full of people that can play and compete," Pauley said. "It's a team sport - one person should not be able to make or break a team."

Pauley expects the match to be hard-fought, with her team giving everything they can to win.

"We can execute and do what we need to do it," she said. "We're going to play as a team, be consistent and compete."

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