Lady Tarpons edge Lady Bearkats - Brownsville Herald: H.S. Volleyball

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Lady Tarpons edge Lady Bearkats

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Posted: Monday, October 7, 2019 5:04 pm

PORT ISABEL — If there’s one thing the Port Isabel volleyball team has learned under coach Julie Breedlove, it’s how to hang tough and extend games after taking another team’s best punch.

The Lady Tarpons won their District 32-4A match with Raymondville in five games Saturday in Port Isabel, 25-12, 25-21, 23-25, 23-25, 15-12, behind strong outings from Madison Ramos (eight kills) and Allison Gonzalez (nine kills).

“Madison was able to come in and make some big plays for us when we needed it,” Breedlove said. “Allison came in clutch. This was one of her better games. She did a really good job of coming back to the service line and put the ball in play.”

Alana Zermeno led Port Isabel with nine kills during the first game, as the Lady Tarpons cruised to a 13-point victory over the Lady Bearkats.

In the second game, it was Ramos who helped stem the tide of a Raymondville rally. The Lady Bearkats drew within one point, 22-21, due in part to Erica Coy’s six kills in the game, after trailing 21-16. But Ramos delivered three straight points with her team up 22-21 to help clinch the game for the Lady Tarpons.

Raymondville responded in Game 3 by opening up a 6-5 lead after a kill by Ilanie Zamora. The Lady Bearkats led by as many as four points before Ramos came through with a block to break a tie at 15. Then it was Zamora, Delylah Stephenson (14 kills), and Caityln Brooks (11 kills) who took over for Raymondville, including Brooks with a punishing finish to end the game and force a fourth game.

The visitors stuck to the same formula during the fourth game, aided by a breakthrough from Claudette Joe, who sparked a run with six of her seven kills coming consecutively to give the Lady Bearkats a 19-15 advantage.

Ramos again helped bring Port Isabel within striking distance to 24-23, but Brooks found an opening and evened the match at two games apiece with a decisive kill.

Breedlove said her team has been volatile and inconsistent during close games at times this season, and she was pleased to see her team communicate well and remain composed after dropping the third and fourth games.

“That’s something we’ve worked on all season,” Breedlove said. “We’ve easily gotten down on ourselves, especially when we let (an opponent) get a good run in. Just them staying positive with each other and talking to each other, that was the biggest thing.”

In a fifth and final game that was indicative of how evenly the two teams played in the four games prior, Gonzalez had her chance to shine, helping her team open an early three-point lead and pounding home the match-winning kill to cap a season sweep of the Lady Tarpons’ district rival.

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