Lamar High (recap)

posted Sep 16, 2014, 12:57 PM by Bellaire Volleyball   [ updated Jan 25, 2015, 2:15 PM ]
In Bellaire High's first rivalry match of the season, the Lady Cardinals dispatched the the newly branded Lamar High School Texans.  The entire Bellaire Volleyball program was ready to invade the home of the red, white and blue Texans and take victory at every level.  Coach Tomlinson expressed a common feeling among the Bellaire Volleyball program when she said after the freshman game, “Having friends playing for Lamar, we were pumped up and came out ready to fight against one of our biggest district rivals.“ 
In front of a full house in Lamar's home gym, the freshman showed off what they have been practicing all season.  Annika Bohmann, Toni Lott, Rein Dolarmente, and Chelluh McGill ran the front row, delivering multiple kills at key times; while Sydney Sizemore and Erin Eby patrolled the back row, making sure Bellaire protected the serve.  Bellaire served well with Sydney Sizemore, Erin Eby, Megan Hafer, and Mikaela Medina going on long serving runs.  The whole front row played big at the net: Bohmann, Lott, and McGill delivering with some beautiful blocks.  Setters Hafer and Medina both played smart by finding holes on the other side of the net with a couple of momentum-changing dumps. 

Bellaire took the first set 25-19; but, Lamar battled back in the second; winning it 17-25.  After digging out of a 2-5 hole, it was all Cardinals in the third, tie-breaking, set 15-9; sealing the match victory for the freshmen.  When asked about the win, Coach Tomlinson commented; “It was exciting and the girls focused and played their game - swinging tough and not letting balls hit the floor.”  “I liked the way this team proved they can fight back and finish a match.”

The JV team picked up right where the freshmen left off.  Coach Martin's JV team took the first set easily; winning it 25-14.  Like the freshmen, the JV Texans regrouped to win the second set 21-25.  The third set was a tough contest as both teams pushed for the match win; but, the Lady Cardinals took the third set 15-8 to win the second match of the night on the road.  McKenna Compton had 6 kills, Mary Lenz added 5 kills.  Setters Libby Lorenz had 14 assists followed by Rachel Nolte with 12.  Leading the defense was Gianna Haskins with 9 digs and Henna Calderon with 7 digs.  Coach Martin said: "Away from our home court, the whole team played really well."  "We had very good teamwork tonight."

The Lady Cardinals varsity traveled to Lamar's home court where the Texan faithful showed off their new red, white and blue colors.  But, later that evening when leaving the Pavilion, blue would best describe the Lamar Texans. 

If you hadn't heard, Bellaire High threw a block party last Friday night, sweeping their long time rival 3-0 (25-9, 25-17, 25-15). 

To have a block party, you need a wall; and, the Cardinals brought theirs Friday night.  With middles Maya Evans and Travanna Matthews as the cornerstones; the Cardinals raise the height of the net with exceptional vertical reach and solid technique.  And when the Texans tried the line, Sundara Chinn, Clarie Smith and Bri Kelly joined the party.  Bellaire made effective blocking look routine as balls fell to the floor on the Texan court.  Rarely were the Texans' hitters able to find a way through the Cardinal's wall.  Modestly, Coach Clarke called it "a solid blocking performance."

When the Texans were able to put the ball over; it typically came as tip or a free ball to senior Libero Katie Fairbanks.  On track to earn another first team all-district distinction, Fairbanks' led the defense with on-target passing to setter Megan Evans.  With dependable on-target passing from the back row, Evans opened up the playbook and unleashed Bellaire's arsenal of powerful hitters in a variety of attacks.  Throughout the evening, the Cardinals hit and tipped the ball up and down the net; keeping the Texans on their heals reacting and recovering out-of-system.   Sundara Chinn and Bri Kelly finished the night tied with a team high 8 kills a piece.  Bellaire fans came to their feet several times as Travanna Matthews' had powerful put-downs in front of the 10 foot line and Maya Evans finessed quick tips to the floor.  Bellaire's great play above the tape complemented by great passing kept the Texans off balance and playing catch-up for nearly the entire match.

The Cardinals never let the Texans stay in-system very long with effective execution across all phases of their game.  Extended rallies were a novelty as the Cardinals effectively served, blocked, attacked and covered on nearly every execution.  After the match, Coach Clarke said; "I really like where this team is, I believe we are a bit ahead of where we were at this point last year."