AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: St. Gerard.
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St. Gerard is relying on its experience and enthusiasm to set the tone for future success in TAPPS District 3-III.
The Royals (3-7, 0-4) have a foundation of eight seniors under new coach Leo Maltos. Although they’ve yet to win their first match in a district that features well-established powers like Boerne Geneva and Schertz John Paul II, Maltos is happy with what he’s seeing from his squad.
“When I first started, the girls didn’t know the game very well,” Maltos said. “Every day they’ve (made) improvment. The girls have exceeded expectations.
“We’re an up-and-coming little school, and little team.”
In an Oct. 1 match at St. Gerard, the Royals battled Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills to within 25-18 in Game 1. The Hawks dominated the second game, winning 25-6 and established a 19-6 lead in Game 3.
A block from Keeli Wallace started the Royals’ late-game comeback. A cross-court kill and a back-row kill from Esme Flores closed the gap to 20-8. A kill from St. Gerard captain Vanessa Morin and a hitting error held off the Hawks on match point, but Our Lady of the Hills prevailed 25-12.
“We rely a lot on Vanessa Morin,” Maltos said. “They respond to her intensity. They look up to her.”
St. Gerard played without a key substitute, Chrishanna Jones, who originally didn’t think she had the availability to be on the team because of job and family commitments, according to Maltos.
“My team is really close, like sisters,” Maltos said. “They do me proud, whether we win or lose. They’re leaving it all on the court.”
Maltos came to St. Gerard from the Superior volleyball club, which is one of the closer clubs to St. Gerard. After he was hired, the Royals only had time to run a three-week camp before the season began. He’s hoping that, as time goes by, more of his players will be motivated to participate at the club level.
“I tell them, ‘If you give me 100 percent, I’ll give you 100 percent,’ ” Maltos said. “We want to be the team that turns things around.”