Minutemen turned tide to force fifth set
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Kennedy, Memorial.
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Kennedy senior setter Amalee Ramos knew her team had reached the tipping point of their Aug. 26 match against rival Memorial, after seeing the Minutemen assemble back-to-back wins in the District 27-5A opener.
The Rockets (3-15, 1-0) had tipped the ball effectively, but had gone away from the sudden dump shots over the net after Game 2. Ramos reverted to record three kills in the decisive Game 5 for a 25-22, 25-16, 18-25, 20-25, 15-7 victory at the Rockets’ gym.
“I did a lot of tips,” said Ramos, who finished with eight set assists. “If I think I can take a real good (shot) that will stay down, I’ll do it.”
Memorial grew more aggressive throughout the match, leading to a comeback that began at a desperate time. After winning the first two games, the Rockets led 10-7 in Game 3 and were 15 points away from sweeping the match when Miranda Puente (11 kills, 3 aces) stepped up.
“It was a very emotional match,” said first-year Memorial coach Keelie Rader, who returned to San Antonio after a nine-year absence to take the job.
“I was Kennedy’s coach 13 years ago. It was my first job, right out of college. But now, I’m out for blood.”
After the Minutemen scored the last three points in Game 4, the Rockets scored four in a row in the last game as Ramos, Gayle Talamantez and Abigail Gomez smashed kills. Memorial’s Melissa Montiel cut the deficit to 4-2 with a kill, but Kennedy pulled away to an insurmountable 12-4 lead.
“We had all of last week off to practice,” said first-year Kennedy coach Kim Fernandez, who previously was McCollum’s softball coach. “I think it might have helped us come together, but I didn’t know how we’d come out for this match.”