Two measly points.
That was the difference Tuesday night in Stockdale as the Marion Bulldogs volleyball team’s three-game win streak came to an end at the hands of the Lady Brahmas in a five-set marathon.
Marion lost the first two sets, 15-25 and 24-26, before coming back to take the next two, 25-21 and 25-18. The final set went down to the wire, with Marion coming up just short of its fourth win in a row, 13-15.
Despite the loss, head coach Taylor Creamer was appreciative of the atmosphere and toughness of the match.
“It’s not easy going five sets, not only physically, but mentally,” Creamer said. “The girls really stepped up to the plate. As much as we wanted those two more points, it didn’t go our way.”
In a close loss, there are always points and mistakes that could have made the difference.
“We had a few errors here and there,” Creamer said. “Obviously serving the ball into the net is free points for them, but it wasn’t the only thing.”
It was the Bulldogs first five-set match this season — and its first with a raucous home crowd rooting against them.
“We haven’t been in a situation like this all season,” Creamer said. “We haven’t gone to five sets this season, we haven’t been in an atmosphere like this, with a crowd like this, all season.
“As much as I’ve enjoyed the streak we’ve been on, getting our business done in three sets, I’m grateful for this situation, this opportunity. When we go into district and the first few rounds of the playoffs, it’s not going to be an easy atmosphere — it’s going to be intense.
“I’m glad we got to experience it, because we haven’t yet.”
The rally began in the second set, although the girls could not pull out the set.
“We were a little off in the first two sets,” Creamer said. “We really started to rally in the second set, but we had dug too big a hole for ourselves.
“We went into the third set and fixed some things we needed to fix, and pushed really hard in that third and fourth set. It’s not easy to come back like that, the girls fought hard and gave a total effort tonight — we just came up two points short.”
Freshman libero Hayley Mabee did not play, and Marion fans at the game were wondering why she was on the bench wearing a boot on her right foot.
“We had a little accident in practice earlier this week,” Creamer said. “She’s in a boot for a couple of days, so we had to go without her today. Obviously she’s a huge asset and we missed her presence, but Yuliene Yulfo came in and did a great job filling that role.”
Lizzie Abrameit, Madyson Schulze, Toryn Autry and Kaylie Miller smashed several kills that powered the Bulldog comeback.
Schulze and Abrameit had 12 kills each, while Autry and Miller contributed seven and four kills, respectively.
“They are the type of girls that you light a little bit of a fire under them, and they are going to go pretty hard,” Creamer said. “You can definitely see that with Lizzie and her hard hitting. It’s always exciting when the ball is set their way, their attacks and swings were definitely on point today.”
Defensively, Madison Doss contributed with 16 digs, and Schulze had nine. Yulfo contributed with seven while getting the start to fill in for Mabee.
The comeback gave the coach a lot of positives to work with going forward into the season.
“I have a lot more confidence in my team after today,” Creamer said. “I’ve known they had it in them, but we haven’t really had to show it this season. It was good to see that today.”
The Bulldogs fell to 12-11 on the season, going into Friday’s game versus Luling at Marion. The varsity game begins at 6 p.m. Marion begins its district season on Sept. 27 versus Ingram-Moore at home.
Navarro extended its winning streak to 10 games, but it wasn’t easy in a five-set match with Lockhart. The Lady Panthers split the first four sets, 25-8, 21-25, 25-18 and 23-25, before winning the fifth and decisive set, 15-9.
Navarro is now 23-6 on the year, and played the match without three starters; Kelly Helms, Sara Benner and Haley Hoffman.
Lifegate improved to 7-0 on the year with a win at Town East, 25-11, 25-12 and 25-13.
Seguin fell to district leader Boerne Champion in three sets, 19-25, 12-25 and 20-25. A brutal opening district schedule, playing the top three teams in the district in four games, has the Lady Mats at 1-3, 11-18 overall.
Kevin Duke is the sports editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at email@example.com .