Lady Rattlers bounce back after loss

Tuesday night marked the second round of district play for the Lady Rattlers in what initially looked to be a tough fought match.

San Marcos (22-13, 5-1 14-6A) and Akins (12-15, 0-4) went back-and-forth in the first set. Neither team could build more than a two-point advantage until momentum swung in favor of the Lady Rattlers following a nine-to-three run.

Just when San Marcos appeared in control, the Eagles fought their way back into the set with a chance to take a 1-0 match lead. Following a timeout, the Lady Rattlers leaned on junior middle blocker Shyeann Lampkin, took the first set and never looked back. San Marcos went on to sweep Akins in three sets (25-15, 25-15, 25-21).

“Even with the adjustments and even after the loss (last week) they did a good job of refocusing,” head coach Michelle Moreno said. “We want to beat everyone we beat the first round and get back to Bowie but we have to get through all these games before that. They’re focused and that’s all I can really ask for.”

Going into the match San Marcos was forced into some position adjustments due to a starter in concussion protocol. Junior Libero Celie Contreras’s injury, a staple in the Rattler defense, forced sophomore defensive specialist Julia Gutierrez to fill the spot. Gutierrez stepped up and had a strong performance with a team-high 20 digs on the night.

Once the Rattler rotation got comfortable, it found its stride behind Lampkin and senior middle blocker Taylor Henderson who led the team with 24 kills. As a whole, San Marcos only recorded seven errors on the night. Junior defensive specialist Kylie Torres was another player who was forced into a more involved role and took advantage of the opportunity.

Torres, along with Henderson, led the Rattlers with three aces on the night. Freshman setter Julia Antu and senior setter Juliana Natal continued their productive season with 31 of the 32 assist recorded during the match.

“(The attack) is doing a good job transitioning,” Moreno said. “They want the ball, they’re asking for it. I just ask them to be aggressive out there and be ready and they’re doing a good job at doing that.”

Focus and communication has become something the team has really began to work on as they move forward. To avoid mistakes, Moreno said she has challenged the team to never let a ball drop without an attempt. The Lady Rattlers bounced back from their first district loss last week and stepped up to the challenge presented them by Moreno.

San Marcos will continue its second round of district play tonight when they visit the Del Valle Cardinals. The match will be the second straight road game for the Lady Rattlers and is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.


San Marcos Daily Record

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