VICTORIOUS – Ladies keep on winning in postseason

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The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons celebrate Tuesday after dispatching the Lyford Lady Bulldogs to advance in the playoffs. (Photos by Vince Galvan)

Special to the PRESS

PI volleyball2HARLINGEN — San Antonio, here comes Big Blue!

Port Isabel volleyball history was made Tuesday night at Harlingen High School when the Lady Tarpons swept Lyford 25-20, 25-22 and 25-22 in their Class 3A regional quarterfinal playoff match.

The Lady Tarpons improved to 25-14 on the season and will now head to the Region IV 3A tournament at the Blossom Athletic Center in San Antonio. They will face La Grange on Friday at 6 p.m. in the Alamo City. Lyford’s season ends at 21-5.

“It was a good match for us. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going and take it up to San Antonio,” Port Isabel coach George Hamilton said. “From what I was told, this is the first time we’ve made it to this level of the playoffs and get to the regional tournament.”

The 32-3A champion Lady Tarpons came out determined Tuesday, rallying in each set against a good Lyford team in front of a near sold-out HHS gym.

After coming back from a five-point deficit in the first set, Port Isabel’s Helena Loya punctuated things with a kill to clinch the first game.

PI volleyball3Then in game two, it was a seesaw affair as both teams traded points and leads and ties. The Lady Tarpons prevailed in that set 25-22 thanks to the final point from Torres.

PI took the deciding game by outlasting Lyford and clinching the game on a Lady Bulldog error to send the legions of Lady Tarpon fans into a frenzy.

On the evening, Lady Tarpon junior setter Daniela Salinas turned in a whopping 34 assists while Kate Bowles finished with 14 kills and 12 digs. Also, Wynona Garza chipped in eight digs. Kelcie Swink recorded four aces with two blocks, and sophomore Gabriella Torres, blocked three Lady Bulldog attempts.

PI volleyball4Hamilton said that coming from behind has been the Lady Tarpons’ forte this season and earlier tests prepared and set them up for their playoff magic.

“I have to give Lyford a lot of credit. They fought hard and made us earn the points. Lyford was ahead of us at several points (in the match), but we knew we could come back,” Hamilton said. “We were down nine or 10 points earlier this season against San Benito and we came back to win. We just had to relax and make good passes. Good things happen when you make good passes.”

Read this story in the Nov. 8 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

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