POTEET—Seven seniors on the Poteet volleyball team entered Friday knowing it would be their last time facing rival Pleasanton in their home gym. And what better way for the Lady Aggies to mark the occasion than with a big-time win.
Poteet improved to 3-0 in district with its 25-15, 25-21, 25-13 sweep of the Lady Eagles. It was the Lady Aggies’ first win over Pleasanton since 2006.
“We’ve been ready for this for a long time,” Poteet senior libero Hannah Dove said. “We always knew we had it in us, and now we just proved it to everybody tonight.”
Dove and the Lady Aggies controlled the first set behind strong serving. Dove—who led the team with 16 digs—had all four of her aces in the opening game, including three in a row that gave Poteet an 18-10 lead.
The Lady Eagles bounced back in the second set, jumping out to a 17-9 advantage. The Lady Aggies, fueled by a pair of kills by Lea Sanchez, used a 7-1 run to pull within two and used more successful serving to complete the comeback.
Back-to-back aces by Sanchez tied the set at 20 before a serving error gave Pleasanton a one-point edge. Poteet responded by scoring the final five points of the game.
“Coach Mo always tells us to be aggressive the whole time we’re serving,” said Sanchez, who had a game-high 20 kills. “No matter who we play or what the score is, just always serve aggressive.”
The Lady Eagles trailed 7-5 in the third set before the Lady Aggies rattled off seven straight. Senior Natalie Lozano, who finished with 15 kills, had two during the stretch.
Emily Zavala had two more aces for Poteet as they clinched the match on a 9-3 run.
“It’s a really good group of young ladies that deserve to be where they are because they put in a lot of work for four years,” Lady Aggies coach Sananda Molina said. “…They really care about each other, and they’re trying to win for each other.”
Courtney Ridge and Laken McAda each had five kills for the Lady Eagles. Amber Guerra led the team with 10 digs, and Maggie Cleary finished with eight assists.
Kaycie Shannon had a team-high four blocks and also four kills.
Poteet fed off the energy of its home fans, and Molina said the atmosphere provided a preview of what lies ahead in the postseason.
“I enjoy these games because it gets you ready for playoff situations,” he said. “We’ve learned lessons in the past from it, getting overexcited or not focusing when we’ve been up. You can see that they kept their maturity and they maintained focused.”
Pleasanton (21-10 overall, 1-1 District 30-4A) returned to the court Tuesday at home against Somerset.
The Lady Aggies had an open date before facing Somerset on the road Friday. The match will end the first half of district for Poteet, and the team knows it still has a long way to go to achieve its goals of a district championship trophy.
“I think we’re all very experienced,” Sanchez said. “We’ve all been here before. We can all do it. We have faith in each other, and that’s the most important thing.”