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West beats East in seventh straight volleyball matchup

By Julie Garcia
Sept. 17, 2013 at 4:17 a.m.

Victoria West outside hitter Saige MeLarty, center,  screams with excitement for her team putting up another point in the rivalry match against Victoria's East.

Two sets of cheerleaders and a gaggle of fans on both sides of the gym made for a louder than usual volleyball game between Victoria East and Victoria West on Tuesday.

West middle blocker Brooke Kirkpatrick said that it took focus to not be distracted by the intensity from the stands.

"We had to keep focused and stay as a team and try not to let all the distractions get to us," Kirkpatrick said.

The two-year varsity member did not leave court once in the three-game match against the Lady Titans. The Warriors swept the match 25-19, 25-15, 25-16.

The junior, who scored the first point of the match for West, is a top leader on her team for offensive and defense.

At Tuesday's match, Kirkpatrick had nine kills and also made defensive strides with six blocks.

Kirkpatrick has averaged 11 kills and 10 blocks in matches against Schulenburg, a top-ranked 2A squad, Cuero and Tuloso-Midway.

"It's kind of hard (to play offense and defense), but it's a team - it's not just me," she said. "We each do our own part, and we come together."

During intense matches against local teams, West coach Sandy Longoria said that Kirkpatrick steps up.

"She plays all the way around because she can score points for us in the front, back and off her serve," Longoria said.

Freshman Saige McLarty led the Warriors with 11 kills.

"I've been working really hard to earn my spot," McLarty said. "It was really fun."

McLarty's youth hasn't worked against her in the last two matches, which Longoria said have been good for her offensively.

"She's connecting with her setter and learning how to read the blocks and learning how to connect and not get blocked," Longoria said.

Though the Warriors swept the match, Longoria plans to work on different blocking positions.

"We need to block better on the outsides; they're still learning how to time it," Longoria said.

This is the seventh match that West has won against East in the last four seasons. They will meet again Oct. 11 at West.

"I just don't think we fought for an entire match," said East coach Jamye Pauley. "We can't make excuses; we just have to play."

Pauley plans on drilling the team on finishing strong.

"One person cannot do it for you - it's a team sport," Pauley said. "Until the referee puts his hands together, blows the whistle, and you meet in the middle, you can't stop until then."

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