Some players might be nervous before a playoff match.
Shiner’s Carley Hewig embraced the postseason pressure Tuesday night against Refugio.
Hewig delivered a team-high 11 kills and 21 assists to lead the Lady Comanches to a 25-23, 25-19, 25-20 sweep over the Lady Cats in a Class 2A bi-district match at the St. Joseph Flyer Dome.
Shiner will play Thorndale, a winner over Mumford, in the area round at 6 p.m. Thursday in Smithville.
“I wanted to win so bad for my team,” Hewig said. “I wanted to come out and play well for them. We all work together really well, and we’re a big family.”
Hewig did not want the Lady Comanches’ match against Refugio to be her last.
The Shiner senior wanted nothing more than keep the season alive for herself and the rest of her teammates.
“We worked as a team and stayed calm,” Hewig said. “I wanted us to keep winning and for us to go far.”
Shiner jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the first set and went up as many as 7 points.
The Lady Cats battled back to come within one at 24-23, but the Lady Comamches held on for the opening-set win.
“We came in with confidence,” said Shiner coach Desiree Nitsch. “I thought we handled the pressure well when the score was tight, and we were able to dominate on finding the holes.”
The second set proved similar to the first after the Lady Comanches jumped out to an early lead.
Behind Hewig, Emma Herman, Jasmine Wright and Cameron Cowan, Shiner jumped out to a 14-6 advantage.
But like in the first set, the Lady Cats fought back towards the end of the set.
Refugio came within 3 points before the Lady Comaches pulled away and claimed the set with a kill by Hewig.
“We started coming back but couldn’t finish,” said Refugio coach Selina Hemphill. “I think my hitters did a good job today, and they busted their tails all game and all season. That’s all a coach can ask for.”
In the third set, Refugio broke through and jumped out to an early 8-1 lead behind senior Tracelyn Ross and Ashanti Brown, who combined for 9 kills and 8 blocks.
But Shiner battled back and tied the set at 15 on an ace by Kiley Michalec. The Lady Comanches took their first lead at 16-15 and finished the set on a 10-4 run to claim the match.
“We fought really hard and we improved a lot,” said Refugio sophomore Isabella Coscetti, who finished with 3 kills, 6 assists and 13 digs. “We gave it our all, and we put a lot of heart and dedication into this game.”
Refugio’s Bella Coscetti on the Lady Cats’ season. Refugio finished second in District 28-2A and made the playoffs for the sixth straight season. pic.twitter.com/W5T4gC7XST— Rey Castillo (@reycastillo361) November 6, 2019
Shiner advances to the area round for the fourth consecutive season.
“The biggest difference has been the team’s chemistry,” Nitsch said. “All of these girls get along, and it makes it easy. They all work hard every day in practice, and they’re fun to be around.”
Refugio will graduate eight seniors in the offseason.
Hemphill reflected on what they meant to the program.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group of seniors,” Hemphill said. “They’ve been with me since fourth grade, and they played volleyball together since sixth grade. They are the first group to put together a summer league, and they were back together in high school. They worked together for three years without a gym, and they didn’t let that bring them down.”
Class 2A bi-district round
Shiner 3, Refugio 0
Shiner 25 25 25
Refugio 23 19 20
Highlights: (S) Jasmine Wright 7 kills, 4 digs; Malorie Harvey 1 ace,1 kill, 17 digs; Kaleigh Knight 1 ace, 1 dig; Cameron Cowan 1 ace, 5 kills, 1 block, 14 assists, 8 digs; Madison Kalina 1 kill, 2 blocks, 3 digs; Makayla Adamek 7 kills, 4 digs; Carley Hewig 3 aces, 11 kills, 6 digs, 21 assists; Hallie Herman 1 kill, 1 dig; Madison Chumchal 1 dig; Emma Herman 2 aces, 7 kills, 26 digs; Kiley Michalec 3 aces, 1 assist, 21 digs. (R) Presleigh Barber 1 kill, 1 assist, 3 digs, 1 block; Isabella Coscetti 3 kills, 6 assists, 13 digs, 1 block; Tracelyn Ross 5 kills, 1 aces, 18 digs, 8 blocks; Ashanti Brown 4 kills, 1 ace, 4 digs; Julianna Castellano 6 assists, 3 digs; Chloe Boxell 2 digs; Daniella Coronado 4 digs; Mikaila Rosas 4 kills, 8 digs; Brianna Rodriguez 1 ace, 9 digs.