By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons volleyball team won its fifth consecutive match Tuesday night. The Ladies took down Progreso in four sets, 18-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-14.
With the win Port Isabel remains in a second place tie with La Feria with a 5-1 record in district play. Zapata, who topped P.I. in the teams’ first district match back on Sept 12, is alone in first place with a 6-0 record.
“They (Progreso) put up a good fight on us,” Lady Tarpons head coach Julie Breedlove said Wednesday. “They were real scrappy and didn’t let a lot of balls drop.”
“We looked at their record, saw some of the teams they beat and knew they weren’t going to be any pushover.”
Coach Breedlove reported a high number of service errors committed by her team and how they affected the scores. “The third game went back and forth and was pretty tight all the way through. That was the one where we had a lot of service errors. In tight games like that we can’t give away any free points.”
The team pulled together in the fourth and deciding set to pull the match out and Breedlove liked what she saw in that one. “The kids knew they were going to have to be on their game. We had a couple of good service runs in that game and we were able to close out the match with those runs.”
Last Saturday the Lady Tarpons beat Hidalgo in Tarpon Gym in four sets, 25-18, 26-24, 15-25, 25-17.
“The third game we just … let up a little bit and didn’t really play our game,” Breedlove said about the Hidalgo match.
The head coach stressed the importance of having a minimum of service errors in the close games. “We hustle and hustle and get the ball back after a hard-fought rally…we need to be able to put the ball over the net (on the serve). Aces are good – I love aces but there comes a time in our game when, really, we just need to put the ball in play.”
An ace is recorded and a point scored for the serving team when the ball goes over the net and hits the floor inbounds, without a play, or goes off an opposing player and out of bounds on the initial contact.
A change in scheduling will have Port Isabel’s next match (La Feria) being played this Friday, Oct. 2, instead of on Saturday afternoon, as originally scheduled. The freshmen and JV Light matches will go off at 5:30 p.m., and the JV Dark and Varsity matches will get underway at 6:30 p.m.
At Progreso, Simone Harry and Olivia Soliz led the way for the Lady Tarpons with 10 and 13 kills respectively, and Celia Garza had six kills. Larissa Torres and Natalie Salinas each got 10 assists and Salinas served four aces. Harry and Soliz each collected two aces. Alex Martinez (13) and Garza (12) were each in double figures in digs.
In the Hidalgo match Harry recorded 22 kills and had four digs. Martinez had nine digs and Garza was there for five. Soliz led the team with four service aces and Karina Vela had two. Madison Bickerton got a block and Salinas led the way in the assist department with 14.
The team begins another three match home stand with Friday’s court date with La Feria. Next Tuesday P.I. will entertain Zapata to start the second half of the district schedule, and on Saturday, Oct.10, the Lady Tarpons will again be at home to take on Rio Hondo.
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