It was youth against experience in Tuesday’s Class 2A bi-district game between Shiner and Yorktown at Victoria West.
The Kitty Kats and their five seniors were coming off their third straight unbeaten district season, while the Lady Comanches and their five sophomores and three freshmen had finished fourth in a tough District 27-2A.
Shiner faced a deficit early on, but took the lead and held off Yorktown’s comeback attempts to win the game in straight sets (25-22, 25-21, 25-18).
“We felt like we worked really hard in practice and we felt like we had this one,” said Shiner’s Rylee Vancura. “We were doing good and we got it.”
Behind the offense of seniors Seely Metting and Makenna Preslar, Yorktown (29-7) jumped out to a 10-6 lead in Set 1. But slowly Shiner (18-14) chipped away at the score before taking the lead
Mental mistakes let points slip away from the Kitty Kats in all three sets.
“We just made little mistakes and a team like Shiner adjusted and capitalized,” said Yorktown coach Irma Gomez. “We just dug deeper holes for ourselves. That’s hard to do. In playoff situations it’s different. Everybody’s amped up and a little nervous and the mistakes can seem very magnified and it did tonight with us.”
The second set saw Yorktown mount a comeback after trailing 8-5 early.
The Kitty Kats would take the lead with scores from Kaley Lassmann and Jackie Gwosdz, but Shiner came right back to tie the game at 18 before going on a 7-3 run to close out the set, 25-21.
“We have some big hitters in our district,” said Shiner coach Desiree Nitsch. “The game is fast so we have to move with it. Tonight, being with the young girls, I knew it was going to be a rough start just because of our nerves and being young. But eventually they settled down and could pull it out.”
Vancura led Shiner with 10 kills, while Megan Blaschke had 14 assists. Callie Sevcik had 7 kills and 10 digs.
For a team that had lost one set throughout district play, Yorktown knew its back was against the wall.
The Kitty Kats responded in Set 3 with their biggest lead, jumping out to a 9-2 start. But once again Shiner chipped away at the score and forced Yorktown into errors that handed the Lady Comanches the game.
“We’re a very young team and we came out we played together and were motivated,” Vancura said. “We just picked each other up and told each other that it was okay to make mistakes, that we got it.”
Shiner’s win means all four teams from 27-2A advance to the area round with Schulenburg, Weimar and Flatonia winning earlier.
The Lady Comanches will play Thorndale on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Giddings.
Yorktown graduates one of its most successful classes ever and hopes the loss will be a motivator for future teams.
”I’m really sad for our seniors cause I know they really wanted this,” Gomez said. “This is for sure one of the best groups we’ve had. I’m very proud of them. We’re gonna miss them. The young ones coming up have a big big job ahead of them.”
Class 2A bi-district
Shiner 3, Yorktown 0
Yorktown 22 21 18
Shiner 25 25 25
Highlights: (S) Megan Blaschke 14 assists, 3 digs; Rylee Vancura 10 kills, 1 ace, 9 assists, 6 digs, 2 blocks; Gracee Prove 1 kill, 1 assist, 5 digs; Chelsea Whiddon 2 kills, 8 digs, 2 blocks; Riley Rainosek 2 digs; Callie Sevcik 7 kills, 1 assist, 10 digs; Aimee Mitchon 3 kills, 1 block; Chesney Machacek 3 kills, 1 block; Avery Bodeker 3 kills, 2 digs; Julie Ivy 1 ace, 1 assist; Brinley Ramirez 1 dig. (Y) Seely Metting 14 kills, 9 assists, 3 digs, 2 blocks; Emie Bolting 2 digs; Jackie Gwosdz 10 kills, 2 aces, 6 digs; Kaley Lassmann 2 kills; Kaylee Parker 1 kill; Makenna Preslar 3 kills, 1 ace, 7 digs, 1 block. Records: Shiner 18-14; Yorktown 29-7.