Boosted by a strong weekend performance at the Santa Fe Labor Day Tournament, the Alvin Lady Yellowjackets seemed to have finally found their stride with the start of 23-6A volleyball play closing in this week.
The Lady Jackets continued that momentum into Tuesday’s non-district home match with Clear Brook and came away with a 25-20, 25-18 and 25-17 straight set sweep at the AHS Competition Gym.
Alvin (11-16), who captured the silver bracket division championship at Santa Fe, won their fourth straight and also collected their fifth victory in their last six matches heading into Friday’s league opener at Alief Elsik (6:30 p.m.).
Junior middle blocker Ana Garza delivered a double double with 15 kills and 17 kills, while junior outside hitter Mackenzie Strban provided eight kills and 13 digs and senior setter Janey Anderson dished out 29 assists. Senior Addison Hansen and sophomore Wylie Singleton also thwarted the Lady Wolverines at the net with the middle blocking duo combining for seven rejections.
“I told the girls after Santa Fe that this was the best I have seen them settle into a consistent mode,” Lady Yellowjackets’ head coach Kylie Kunefke said following the match. “We didn’t get too high or too low.
“When things went a little wrong like tonight a few times, they kept their composure and played steady.”
Brook tested Alvin’s tenacity throughout Tuesday’s affair, jumping out to early leads of 5-3 and 7-5 in the opening set behind the hitting of juniors Raina Cantu and Kennedy Thompson. However, the Lady Jackets ultimately pulled even at 8-8 on Hansen’s kill and grabbed the upper hand for good on Strban’s service winner.
Garza and Strban then went to work at the net with kills stretching the margin to 23-18. Following another Garza baseline spike, Singleton caught the Lady Wolverines’ defense napping with a front row tip at game point.
Despite the Lady Jackets’ attempts to run away with the second game, Brook refused to initially fold. The Lady Wolverines overcame an early 6-2 deficit to lead briefly at 8-7 and later cut an 14-9 AHS lead to 14-13 on Cantu’s ace.
Singleton stuffed a shot at the net by Brook’s Olivia Hines, though, to make it 15-13 and the Lady Wolverines never got any closer. Hansen and Korrigan Wright increased the lead to 20-16 a little later with hitting winners and Garza drilled a game point kill to put Alvin even more in the driver’s seat with a two-set cushion.
Alvin completed the sweep in the third game with a Brook hitting miscue tying things at 14-14 and Singleton’s go-ahead solo block being followed by Garza’s kill and an ace by junior libero Coryn Breaux. Hansen and Anderson also teamed for a double block, while Strban’s back-to-back floor shots combined with Hansen’s match-point tip to finish things off.
In other area volleyball action, the co-leading Manvel Lady Mavericks kept pace with Friendswood in the 22-5A standings with a 25-17, 25-13 and 25-20 home sweep over Galveston Ball, Tuesday night.
Devyn Lewis provided a double double with 11 kills and 10 digs and Jayden Walker did likewise with 13 assists and 10 digs, while other match totals included Mary Kate Preston with eight kills and five blocks, Kenedy Massie with 24 assists, Bea Angeles with 11 digs, Emily Altamirano with 10 digs, Lyric Jordan with seven kills, Brooke Wright with six kills and Amari Jackson with three blocks.
The Lady Mavs (18-11 overall, 4-0) next play Goose Creek Memorial Friday in Baytown at 6:30 p.m.
Shadow Creek also emerged victorious on Tuesday, fending off hosting Clear Falls in four sets by 25-20, 19-25, 25-20 and 25-22 scores in League City.
Match totals by the Lady Sharks (17-12) included Dominique Phills with 19 kills, Sarah Du with 39 assists, Aria Rideaux with 13 kills, Mckenzie Collins with 12 kills, Ella Hestand with 12 digs, Jadyn Murry with 12 assists and Alana Burks with nine kills.
Shadow Creek next opens district play at home with Alief Taylor Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Highland Park maintains lead in TGCA’s 5A poll - Highland Park maintained the N0. 1 spot in the Texas Girls Coaches’ Association state volleyball poll, while V.R. Eaton took over the top spot in 6A from Cy Ranch.
The 5A poll was ranked in the following order: 1. Highland Park; 2. Lucas Lovejoy 17-5; 3. College Station; 4. McAllen; 5. Barbers Hill; 6. New Braunsfel Canyon; 7. Leander Rouse; 8. Colleyville Heritage; 9. Flour Buff; 10. Henrickson; 11. Pioneer; 12. Burges; 13. Austin Anderson; 14. Justin Northwest; 15. Friendswood; 16. Frisco Reedy; 17. Mission Veterans Memorial; 18 Gregory Portland; 19. Lufkin; 20. Mission Sharyland.
The 6A poll featured: 1. V.R. Easton; 2. Flower Mound; 3. San Antonio Brandeis; 4. Arlington Martin; 5. The Woodlands; 6. Round Rock Cedar Ridge; 7. Pearland Dawson; 8. Smithson Valley; 9 . Plano West; 10. Cy Ranch; 11. El Paso Franklin; 12 Austin; 13. Prosper; 14. SA Reagan; 15. San Marcos; 16. Ridge Point; 17. Austin Lake Travis; 18. Harlingen; 19. Coppell; 20. Desoto.