Goliad clinches top spot in District 30-2A

Julie Garcia By Julie Garcia

Oct. 22, 2013 at 5:22 a.m.

Edna outside hitter Madison Kucera, right, strikes the ball pass Mallory Bruns, right, and Megan Hilscher, left center, at the Goliad Event Center.

Edna outside hitter Madison Kucera, right, strikes the ball pass Mallory Bruns, right, and Megan Hilscher, left center, at the Goliad Event Center.

GOLIAD - There are times when Goliad coach Jess Morris wants to get out on the volleyball court and help her team.

It comes naturally for the 2007 Goliad graduate who was a Tigerette before playing four years of volleyball at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

But a part of her wants to help out her sisters, Sydney Morris and Roxanne Morris, as well.

"Sometimes, it's hard just because you're coaching your sisters. You want to treat them differently, but you can't because it's just player and coach on the court," Jess Morris said after Goliad's tight victory against Edna on Tuesday night.

Goliad (26-8, 12-0) defeated Edna (25-11, 11-2) in the fifth set 15-12, coming back from losing the first two sets.

The Cowgirls were up (25-23, 25-22) before the Tigerettes came back in three sets (25-21, 25-19, 15-12).

The victory decided first and second in District 30-2A, with both Edna (No. 23) and Goliad (No. 19) being top ranked teams in the state poll.

Edna defeated Goliad twice last season but lost to them last month prior to district play.

Roxanne Morris, a freshman for Goliad, said this year has been "different than just little middle school volleyball."

"It's a little overwhelming, but I know we'll get far," she said.

In the first two sets, Roxanne and her sister Sydney played side-by-side.

By the third set, the coach decided to change it up.

"(Sydney's) been kind of off and on lately; the first two games were kind of chaos, and the last three games were more consistent and smooth flowing," Jess Morris said. "I try to go with what is working."

Going winless into the third set, the coach knew one thing for sure.

"Losing was not an option," she said. "It couldn't happen; it wasn't going to happen. We weren't going to lose the game."

"It wasn't going to be easy, and the girls knew that," she said. "It was going to be a fight the entire 25 points, 15 points of each game. They pulled it off and did a great job."

The victory was hard-won, with Edna's Madison Kucera leading the game in kills with 29 and also in digs with 28.

Being a freshman, Roxanne Morris (13 kills, 16 digs, six blocks and two aces) said it's all about mindset on the court.

"You don't really think about that," she said. "You just play volleyball, and that's all you can do."

Edna coach Rachel Collins was nearly speechless following the loss.

"Disappointed," Collins said. "We had them down 2-0, and it takes three to win. We just didn't do it."

Collins said that after the two first games, her team became complacent. When Goliad came back rejuvenated, the Cowgirls couldn't recover.

"We had goals set. This was one of them, and we didn't meet it," Collins said.

Edna has one more district game against Palacios before playoffs begin.

Edna player Drew Ganem was shocked by the outcome.

"In practice, we're going to have to work a lot harder," Ganem said. "Tonight showed we need a lot more heart, dedication, and we need to work our butts off in practice. Focus a lot harder."

Goliad's next two games will be against Tidehaven and Industrial.

"It's definitely one game at a time," Jess Morris said. "You can't overlook or look past certain teams. Anytime, it could change."



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