PHOTO / JEFF BERGER

Ally Lutz sets to the outside, while middle Lindy Berger executes a fake in the win over Orange Grove last Thursday.

PHOTO / JEFF BERGER

Taylor Neuman splits the Orange Grove defense in Thursday’s area playoff victory. The Owls’ won the match in five sets to earn their school record 32nd match win. Hondo fell to La Vernia in Tuesday’s regional quarterfinals.

Owls go 5 to beat Orange Grove

 

By Jeff Berger

Anvil Herald Publisher

 

     Pleasanton -- Advancing deeper in the postseason than at anytime since 2013, the Hondo volleyball team won the final two sets on Thursday, Nov. 7, to secure a five-set area playoff win over Orange Grove.

     The 20-25, 25-13, 17-25, 25-20, 15-10 win was the Owls’ 32nd of the season, surpassing the school record mark of 31, set just last year.

It also marked Hondo’s fourth five-set win of the season. In all four, the Owls trailed two sets to one, and rallied to win the final two sets. Before this year, it had been eight seasons since Hondo’s last five-set win.

     In the area match at Pleasanton High School, the team playing at the west end of the floor won every set, beginning with OG’s win in the opener. The teams stayed within two points of one another all the way to 17, where the Lady Bulldogs made their first push, taking a 23-18 lead and then finishing the set.

     Hondo came out on fire in the second set, grabbing an early 7-1 lead with Cassidy Reus serving, with an ace, two kills from Anna Schultz and a block from Lindy Berger. From 11-5, Jaclyn Leyva scored a point with a block, then the Owls won a long rally, going to the floor for several digs, to make it 13-5. Two kills from Taylor Neuman late in the set finished it out at 25-13.

     In the third set, other than a 2-2 tie, Orange Grove led the whole way, getting the 25-17 win to go up 2-1.

     Down early in the fourth set, the Owls took the lead for good with Berger serving six in a row, highlighted by a Schultz block and an ace, to give Hondo a 13-9 lead.

     Kills by Abby Neuman and Erin Magers put the Owls up 21-15. Magers added two more kills in the late stages of the set to help the Owls to a 25-20 win.

     Hondo grabbed the early lead in the fifth set, going up 6-2 on two kills each from Schultz and Taylor Neuman. OG fought back to tie it, first at 7, then at 8, before the Owls pulled away. Berger had an ace to make it 10-8, with a kill from Abby Neuman and block from Schultz taking it to 13-10. With Abby Neuman serving, the Lady Bulldogs were called for a double to take it to match point, and Magers finished with a kill to end the match.

LV dominates, ending Hondo’s season at region quarters

By Jeff Berger

Anvil Herald Publisher

 

     San Antonio -- Tuesday’s match was seldom in doubt.

     The La Vernia Lady Bears started fast and kept the pedal to the metal in a 25-10, 25-14, 25-14 Region IV-4A third round playoff win over the Hondo Owls.

     With the Nov, 12 win at Littleton Gym in the Blossom Athletic Center, the Lady Bears (43-6) will return on Friday, Nov. 15, for the regional tournament.

     Hondo’s season, the school’s best ever in number of victories, comes to an end at 32-10.

     LV rocketed to a huge early lead over the Owls, going up 18-2 in the blink of an eye.

     The Owls settled in and traded points with the Lady Bears for the rest of the set, but it was too late to salvage anything better than 25-10.

     Hondo took its only leads of the match early in the second set, but after the Owls led 3-2, LV took the lead for good. The Owls battled, engaging in some long rallies and twice pulling within one point, at 7-6 and 14-13, but LV turned things around and finished the set on an 11-1 run to close it out 25-14.

     The Lady Bears grabbed a 6-0 lead to start the third set, and were never threatened after that.

    The taller, more powerful LV squad’s attacks kept Hondo on its heels all night. When the Owls were able to get a hand on an LV hit, it often resulted in a free ball being sent back over the net. From there, the Lady Bears would go back on the offensive.

    La Vernia will face Fulshear in the regional semifinals on Friday. The second semifinal match features Caldwell and Navarro. All four teams are ranked among the top eight in the state in the latest Texas Girls’ Coaches Assocation 4A poll.

    Three seniors, Ally Lutz, Abby Neuman and Taylor Neuman, played their final volleyball match for the Owls. Three juniors and six sophomores are scheduled to return for the 2020 Owls.