Behind an offense that recorded 26 kills and 16 aces, the Bobcats beat Pettus in three sets.
Placement was the key for S-T.
We had some pretty key placements on our hits that when the hole was open, they were able to read that. That was really big,” said Bobcat coach Holly Vasquez. “We read the open holes and that’s where we sent the ball. We were smart vs. strong I think.”
Of the Bobcats’ 26 kills, 17 came via tips.
And that was exactly the strategy, according to Vasquez.
“We knew they had some real big blockers, so I said that we’re not going to be able to hit past their blockers, so we’re going to have to see where the open holes are. That’s what we tried to do.”
First-year Eagle coach Brittany Talamantaz said that a lack of communication was the problem.
“We’re not talking to each other. That was the main thing.”
Skidmore, after falling behind 8-5, rallied for a 25-20 victory in the opening set thanks to a run of eight straight during Mireyna Solis’ service game.
The run served as a microcosm of what would happen throughout the night.
Solis had three aces in the run, one of which wasn’t even touched and fell between two Eagles and Lauren Richmond had two tip-kills.
Solis would finish the match with five aces. Isabel Jimenez added five as well. Mari Martinez and Charli Perron each had three.
“We did really well serving,” Vasquez said. “That’s been our weakness. We stepped up on serving.”
Offensively, Richmond had seven kills, Perron had five, Jimenez had five and Amanda House had four.
In the second set, S-T again rallied for the win, climbing out of a 9-6 deficit to win 25-22.
The Bobcats (9-2) completed the sweep with a lopsided 25-14 win that included three runs of at least four straight points.
Talamantaz said afterward that fatigue played a factor for her team.
“We need a lot more endurance. The girls got tired real quick,” she said. “They are getting fatigued out there.”
Still, she thinks her team is on the cusp of turning the corner.
“Right now, we’re still at that little behind mark. But, we’re just about to pass it over. The girls are starting to work together a lot more and getting used to each other.
“We’re going to take a little bit of time, but, by district, watch out.”
Hana Kruger led the Eagle offense with seven kills. Randi Arrisola had five kills and two aces.
Ashlynn Schauer had five aces and two kills and Anna Elder had four aces.
Vasquez says her team is riding high early in the season.
“I think this is the best start we’ve had in two years, so I know their confidence is up and they have a lot of momentum going into the next tournament. That’s the big thing we needed, was our mental game.”
In the junior varsity contest, Skidmore-Tynan improved to 7-0 on the year by sweeping Pettus.
The Bobcats won the first set 25-11 and the second set 25-12.
In other action, Pettus (5-4) split two matches.
The Eagles beat Agua Dulce in three sets, but fell to McMullen in two sets.
Against Agua Dulce, Pettus won 25-27, 25-21, 15-12.
Elder led the Eagles with five kills, three assists and two aces. Arrisola had four kills, three assists and eight aces.
McMullen beat the Eagles 25-13, 25-16.
Arrisola had four kills, four assists and three aces.
The Bobcats finished as runners-up at the Pettus tournament on Aug. 16.
Tilden beat S-T 25-13, 25-14.
In other action at the Pettus tournament, S-T beat Agua Dulce 25-18, 24-26, 15-12 and Nordheim 20-25, 25-14, 15-5.
The Bobcats also claimed a five-set win over Riviera 14-25, 25-10, 25-19, 20-25, 15-12, and a three-set win over Kenedy 25-18, 25-15, 25-20.
Yorktown beat S-T 26-24, 25-17, 22-25, 17-25, 15-7.
Kevin J. Keller is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5223, or at sports@mySouTex.com, or follow him on Twitter, @beepicsports.