By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel High Lady Tarpons volleyball team could not end their non-district schedule on a high note, but head coach Julie Breedlove knows this team is ready for district play.
On Tuesday night in Brownsville the Lady Tarpons lost to Porter High in straight sets, 21-25, 18-25, 19-25. Against Lyford last Saturday in Tarpon Gym, P.I. won in straight sets, 25-14, 25-11, 25-20.
“We did not play very solid volleyball,” Coach Breedlove told the Press Wednesday. “We had a lot of errors. We were on the big end of the mistakes last night.”
It was a let-down after a nice win against Lyford on Saturday. “We were down 11-1 in that last set,” Breedlove said. “Our starting lineup went out and brought us back.”
Breedlove broke the match down into different aspects of their game that brought the team down. “We weren’t covering our tips very well. They tipped us a lot and we weren’t moving our feet to get to (those) tips.”
The serving game, going both ways, was a problem this night. “We had 12 service errors, which was pretty much the difference in two of those games. Then we had 15 serve-receive errors, so we didn’t pass the ball very well last night. But the kids played hard and they fought.”
For all of that, Breedlove liked what she saw in her team’s blocking game. “We did a good job on our blocking. Olivia Soliz picked up a couple of blocks. They’ve got a real strong hitter they run out of the middle. Olivia … really stayed tough on her.”
Breedlove is confident that this is a team that can seriously contend for the district championship. “Fundamentally, we’re pretty strong but we sometimes let little things get to us.”
As to what’s to be expected against Zapata in this Saturday’s district opener, Breedlove said, “We haven’t seen Zapata this year, but they always come in pretty strong. We need to go in confident but we don’t need to go in with our heads in the clouds. We’ll push through this. It’s 0-0 now and now is when it matters. The kids will be ready and they’re excited for district to start.”
The team will be on the road for its second district match with Rio Hondo next Tuesday, the 15th, before starting a long home stand the following Saturday. Beginning with Raymondville on September 19th, the Lady Tarpons will play six of their next seven matches in Tarpon Gym.
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