The visiting Panthers took the first set 25-18, the second set 25-16 and the third set 25-11.
It wasn’t the start first-year coach Rebecca Riojas-Fryer had hoped for, but she said her team can take some positives from the loss.
“The positive stuff is that ... we were passing the ball and the setters were getting to the ball,” she said after the loss to the Panthers. “We were attacking the ball. Whether it was in or out, they were still being aggressive.
“Comparing the scrimmages to tonight, I thought there was more team chemistry, whether it looked like that or not.”
Serving, which Riojas-Fryer said before the season was one of her team’s strong suits, proved to be exactly that.
In the opening set, a third of Beeville’s points, six, came via aces.
“That’s one of the strongest things I noticed, even just during open gyms, is how well these girls serve,” Riojas-Fryer said. “It’s not just getting the ball over the net. It’s top spin, it’s float serve, and putting it in a spot to where we’re trying to find the weakest passer on the other team.”
Michaela Fernandez had four of those aces, while Sierra Jefferson and Loreno Rosales added one apiece.
The Trojans added four more aces in the second set – two from Ciara Garcia and one each from Jefferson and Rosales.
Fernandez added another ace in the third set to finish with a match-best five.
But, while Beeville’s serving looked in midseason form, the Trojans’ defense struggled.
“Defensively, I’ve been telling the girls, ‘Make sure you get to your base position and then transition to your defensive position as fast as you can,’” Riojas-Fryer said. “I think they were doing that, but then it caught up to us because we got there so fast and the ball was still in the air.
“... Most of our errors were defensive errors. So they know that we need to play defense to win the game.”
Riojas-Fryer said, despite the loss, she feels like her team is headed in the right direction.
“It’s going to come together. The worst thing you can do is be negative and dwell on the negative stuff. There were lots of good things that we did right – the ball not hitting the floor, saving balls, throwing yourself out for a ball. I think a lot of things were very positive.
“We’ll be able to take that stuff and head in the right direction.”
In junior varsity action, Aransas Pass beat Beeville’s JV White in two sets 25-23, 25-16, while JV Orange beat the Panthers in two sets 25-14, 25-22.
Riojas-Fryer is in her first season at the helm of the Trojan program after spending more than eight years as the head coach at Cuero.
The Taft alumna who led Cuero to its first district championship in 2009 has set high goals for Beeville in 2014.
“Our main goal is to make it to the playoffs,” Riojas-Fryer said. “It doesn’t matter what spot we’re in.
“Some of these girls have played together and some of them have never played with each other. It’s just making sure that we prepare ourselves every day for (making the playoffs).
“I don’t care about my record ... it’s just other wins added to my column, but that doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s just making sure the seniors have a successful senior year and that, ultimately, we get a banner up (in the rafters of the gym).”
The Trojans have six returning letter winners – seniors Rosales and Garcia; juniors Jefferson, Mackenzie Harvey and Margaret Downing; and sophomore Alyssa Silva.
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.