CORPUS CHRISTI — The Pleasanton Lady Eagles’ volleyball season came to an end on Thursday in a straight-set loss to Hidalgo (22-25, 20-25, 19-25) in the Area Round of the playoffs.
With a young group, head coach Gabriel Aguirre was happy to get back to the Area Round. But the longtime head coach said the team really felt they could make it back to the Regional Quarterfinals.
“It’s nice to get back here. But at the point we were playing at the end of the year, we thought we could make it back to the Regional Quarters again,” he said. “We just ran into a very tough team tonight that we just couldn’t handle.”
Pleasanton looked to be in control after rallying on a 14-2 run to take a 14-8 lead in the first set. Hidalgo then fought back to reclaim the lead before going on a 5-2 run to close out the first.
From there, the Lady Eagles never led again in the match. Hidalgo’s defense forced the Lady Eagles into too many mistakes, Aguirre said.
“Every time they dug a ball, it frustrated our hitters,” Aguirre said. “Instead of us keeping attacking, we tried to change some things. It led to a lot of mistakes on our part.”
Only freshman Sadie McAda was able to find traction offensively, recording 19 kills in the loss. Skylar Schimelpfening had two kills and was the next highest in the category for the Lady Eagles.
McAda picked up another double-double with 10 digs to go with her 19 kills. Senior Madeline Keylich also picked up 10 digs for the Lady Eagles.
Freshman Victoria Urbanczyk picked up a team-high 13 assists for the Lady Eagles. Sophomore Tess Underbrink had 11 on the night.
McAda, Underbrink, Urbanczyk and a host of first time varsity players had to step up for the young Lady Eagles in 2019 and their growth this season was praised by Keylich.
That’s what made the season special in Keylich’s eyes.
“It meant a lot, knowing we were gonna come off a really good team last year and start building with new people, freshman and a whole new team,” Keylich said. “It meant a lot that we did come together and we did learn to play together, because it was questionable at first. But, towards the end, I’m glad we came together.”
With Urbanczyk and Underbrink stepping up in their roles as setters, the Lady Eagles found their offense.
“It was very critical, because we were fighting for a spot in district towards the end,” Keylich said. “For them to step up and come from eighth grade or the JV and freshman team and do that, it really showed their character and showed they’re here to play and ready to play. And I wish them great luck next year.”
The loss marked the end of the high school careers for Keylich, Schimelpfening, Clarissa Alaquinez, Kalyssa Rios, Kasie Castillo and Marissa Castor.
“This senior group was like every senior group; they’re all special, they all put in work for four years to try to get where we are today,” Aguirre said. “Our seniors did a great job.”