Photo by Gerald Castillo
Lady Rattlers advance to Ragin' Rattler Tournament's silver bracket
The Lady Rattlers were playing at home, but something was off.
They had beaten San Antonio Kennedy handily, winning both sets by a double digit margin. But in their second match against Northwestern, San Marcos stumbled. The team barely dropped the nail-biting first set, 25-23, then the second, 25-22.
Senior right side hitter Tiana Hicks said the Lady Rattlers just couldn’t psych themselves up enough to finish the match.
“Since it’s a tournament, (the crowd’s) not as hyped as we’re used to, (compared to) like home games,” Hicks said. “So, it’s up to us to make ourselves hyped like that.”
During the break before their final pool-play game at the Ragin’ Rattler Tournament on Thursday, the players discussed what they could have done better. They missed too many serves. Their blocks were too slow. They weren’t talking enough.
“We could have gone a lot harder than we (did),” senior middle blocker Devin Branch said.
Everyone agreed to go into the next match against Akins with an extra sense of focus. It showed.
Clinging to a 13-10 lead, senior defensive specialist Daciana Anzaldua missiled an ace on her first serve to give San Marcos it’s biggest lead of the set thus far. Sophomore setter Julia Antu found senior middle blocker Shyeann Lampkin on three of the next five plays to give Anzaldua a 5-0 serving run. Lampkin was blocked on the next play, but the Lady Rattlers went on to win the first set, 25-19.
“We’re just a little inconsistent. We had a slow start against Northwest, and those were close games,” head coach Michelle Moreno said. “But, this is all learning experience for the girls. And these girls are getting these opportunities, and we’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities to fix it.”
The second set was a bit more back-and-forth, but this time, the Lady Rattlers were able to pull away late in the game. Lampkin dished the ball up to junior right side hitter Jade Olivo, who spiked it home for the match point. San Marcos won the second set 25-18.
The win moved the Lady Rattlers up to second place in their pool, earning them a spot in the silver bracket on Saturday.
“I think us dropping (a game) today really just – ‘Dang it, let’s get our stuff together,’” Moreno said. “We just want to get more games and more practice before district starts. And so, we just want to make sure we step up to the competition and that we just keep improving throughout the tournament.”
San Marcos will play Canyon Lake in the first round of the silver bracket at 10:30 a.m. at the Snake Pit on Saturday. The players hope there will be enough hype.
“(The plan is) to win,to get first place in our bracket,” Hicks said. “We can be one of the top teams out of the 32.”
“We’re going to win,” Branch said.