Lady Flyers one game from state tournament

Keldy  Ortiz

Nov. 2, 2013 at 6:02 a.m.

St. Joseph sophomore Christine Janak, left, jumps to spike the ball against Austin Hyde Park at the Saint Joseph gym.

St. Joseph sophomore Christine Janak, left, jumps to spike the ball against Austin Hyde Park at the Saint Joseph gym.

Kayln Hempel has spent quite a bit of time inside the St. Joseph gymnasium.

Saturday, however, was the last time the senior and the rest of the Lady Flyers will play at the school in competition.

It's not a bad thing either.

The Lady Flyers cruised to 25-20, 25-15, 25-15 victory over Austin Hyde Park Baptist in the TAPPS Class 4A area playoff round.

The win for the Lady Flyers sends them to the regional round, where they will play Houston Lutheran South in Louise on Tuesday night.

"It's kind of like a sad happy thing. I'm glad that we've come this far," Hempel said. "I know that we're going further, though."

Lady Flyers coach Allyson Griffin was not pleased with the girls' performance in the first game. It didn't help that the Lady Flyers had not played a game in more than a week.

"A week of practice makes for a long week of practice. It definitely hurt us on the court to be practicing all week," Griffin said. "They want to go play. They want to win. I think we came out a little too relaxed early on."

Sophomore Maidson Foeh explained the team's practices are never easy. Having to wait to play their opponent Saturday showed on the court.

"I knew they were going to pose a challenge to us because they were after us, trying to beat us," Foeh said. "To have a game and a game-like situation would have helped in this game."

"We were relaxed," Hempel said about the first game. "Then we had a reality check."

For the Lady Flyers, there will be no long breaks between games. The defending TAPPS 3-4A district title winners will play Tuesdayfor a chance to participate in their second straight TAPPS state tournament.

"There's no time to sit around and think anymore," Griffin said. "We'll have one or two more practices in our gym. Not only do we have to prepare for the team we play on Tuesday, but we've also got to be preparing for who we see Thursday and so on. Our season's over next week no matter what."

Hempel and the other four seniors didn't worry about what lies ahead Saturday.

They all posed for pictures with friends and family. It was their last time playing in front of their home crowd in their home gym.

"I'll probably miss mostly 'The Pit.' They're always here," Hempel said, referring to the student section which cheers them on at home games. "I'm sure they will travel with us. They're always loud."

The hope for the Lady Flyers and their fans is that they play next Saturday. At that time, they could play for a TAPPS state title.



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