Promising Provets can’t hold Game 5 lead
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Providence.
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In the first game of Schertz John Paul II’s first match, the Guardians were in a reactive mode. Thereafter, they were the aggressors, starting with their serves.
John Paul (then 1-0) attacked Providence’s back line with its serves as the match progressed Aug. 19 with good results. The Provets (then 5-3) won the first game 25-16. claimed the next two games 25-17 and 25-21 before Providence recovered to win Game 4 26-24 and extend the match in its home gym.
The Guardians won the decisive game 15-12 on a kill from sophomore Alyssa Fabac through a block attempt. Fabac led John Paul with five kills and four digs.
“Our coach focus on serving,” Fabac said. “We try to serve to a (specific) spot. Once we get there, we keep serving to the same spot and challenge them to pick it up.”
The Provets were coming off a 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 win over Sam Houston Aug. 18. They went on to finish fourth at the Jaguar Classic in Floresville last weekend.
Freshman Jazzmyne Williams (14 kills) served the first of her three aces on the match’s first point, beginning a four-point run that allowed Providence to lead throughout the match. The lead reached 10-4 on two of Hannah Sasser’s 14 kills.
The Guardians closed within 11-8, but Providence gradually pulled away and finished the game with Williams’ fifth kill.
“When we can pass the ball and make good connections, then we get a good result,” Providence coach Elise Denoux said. “I’m looking for that consistency. They have some good players. We knew they’d be ready to play.”
John Paul’s winning serving strategy began to take effect in Game 2. The Guardians served four aces in the game, two from Fabac. Kayla Kowalick served two aces in Game 3.
“If we can get a team out of system and make them move,” Schertz John Paul II coach Danielle Gonzalez explained, “then the setter’s not able to set the ball as easily. Also, we did a good job of blocking. We got our hands on a lot of balls.”
Providence jumped out to a 9-2 lead behind two aces from freshman Balleigh Creighton, but had to fend off John Paul to win. The Guardians built a 24-22 lead with help from back-to-back aces by Emily McCabe, but made two consecutive errors on match point. Williams seized the opportunity, tying it 24-24 on a kill and a tip. A kill from Christianna Howell put Providence over the hump.
In Game 5, a block from Sasser helped the Provets take a 6-4 lead. A kill by Fabac factored in a Guardians surge that put them ahead, 11-7. Kowalik put down a kill that enabled John Paul to reach another match point.
“We have a lot to look forward to,” Denoux said. “We’re working to develop our underclassmen. We have great team enthusiasm and our returning players are giving them a lot of encouragement.
“For three weeks into the season, we’re not bad.”
Providence senior defensive specialist Mital Patel was credited with 24 digs. Freshman Mia Ybarra recorded 15 assists. Sasser added a team-high four blocks.
MORE TO COME