By Logan McCullough
After a week off from competition, the Hays Lady Rebels showed signs of rust, but were able to secure a 25-18, 25-21, 25-16 win in straight sets over the San Marcos Lady Rattlers Tuesday thanks to a concerted team effort.
The Lady Rebels started the match strong pushing the score to 6-0 in the first set, resulting in a quick timeout by Rattlers Head Coach Michelle Moreno.
“We just started off a little slow,” Moreno said. “I think that is probably what caused us to dig that big hole.”
Although they were consistently facing an uphill battle, the Lady Rattlers seemed to play their best when their backs were against the wall. Every time it looked as if the Rebels were going to coast to victory, the Rattlers fought their way back.
Hays’ execution was good enough to win the match in straight sets, but it wasn’t good enough in the opinions of the Rebels.
“We’ve got a lot of little kinks to work out,” Hays Junior Kacie Hall said after the game.
The Lady Rebels had played 21 games in a short period of time, and then had an entire week off from competition.
“We didn’t have a game on Friday, so I knew coming into today we were going to have a little bit of rust,” Rebel head coach Stephanie Coates said. “We needed the break, but I think tonight for us some of the things we struggled with was just being smooth. We’ve been very smooth.”
The Rebels “rust” was most evident near the end of each set, where they allowed the Lady Rattlers to go on runs of 8-2, 12-3 and 8-5.
“I think we were a little off tonight. I do think we communicated well, but I also think we allowed runs that we don’t usually allow,” Coates said.
Hays High’s Kaitlyn Krafka led the way with a game high 14 kills, five aces and a team high nine digs. Lady Rebel Mackenzie Coates finished the game with 33 assists. The Lady Rebels combined for six total team blocks on the night.
San Marcos’ Taylor Henderson and Alexandra Contreras each tallied ten kills in the match.
The Lady Rebels are hosting their annual “Rebel Bash” varsity tournament this weekend. Pool play begins 9 a.m. Thursday.
Hays will host Fredericksburg in a non-district match Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Bales Gym.