Lady Hawks split matches in season opener vs Mercedes, Edinburg

MERCEDES — Harlingen South, Mercedes and Edinburg High opened the 2016 season with their annual tri-match Tuesday at the Mercedes gymnasium.

The big winner of the afternoon was Edinburg, which came away with two victories. The Lady Bobcats started the day by defeating Mercedes in straight sets 25-17, 25-13, and 25-4, and then foiled Harlingen South 25-17, 25-10, and 25-16 for their second victory of the day.

Still, despite a good start to the season, Edinburg head coach Deanna Dominguez found herself looking at areas where the team could improve.

“For us as coaches we always look at areas that could be worked on,” she said. “For us we are just working on gelling together and I like that we are a little more offensive minded, but in volleyball you have to be defensive minded as well. We’re trying to work on the defensive end right now, making sure that we are in position and adjusting to the different teams that we play and their tempos.”

“In the next game I want to see them communicate more and I want to see them gelling more, and the chemistry just needs to keep developing and that’s what makes a great team.”

Marissa Arce, Tianna Howard, Natialie Martinez and Dezi Marmolejo were key for the Lady Bobcats. Arce finished the day with 23 kills, three aces and 24 digs. Howard had 25 kills, one ace and nine digs. While Marmolejo finished with four Aces, three Kills and 72 assists through both contests.

Harlingen South started the season with some signs of optimism.

After losing to Edinburg in straight sets, the Lady Hawks showed some resiliency by defeating the Lady Tigers 25-27, 25-16, 25-22 and 25-18.

Mercedes took South to its limits, before the Lady Hawks pulled away to begin the year with a 1-1 record.

Regardless, second-year Harlingen South head coach Jennifer Taliancich liked what she saw from her team.

”I liked that my seniors are really coming through for us,” said Taliancich. “They have become very consistent and they’re who we go to when we need points so I’m very happy with their passing and their hitting. But we need to work on ourselves because we missed six serves in our first game against Edinburg.

“In our second game it improved and that’s what helped us come back.”

Next up for the Lady Hawks is the Donna Tournament held Friday and Saturday at Donna High and Donna North.

Mercedes wrapped up the day with two losses. However, the Lady Tigers nearly thwarted Harlingen South’s day after starting their second match with a 27-25 come-from-behind game victory.

Nevertheless, Mercedes head coach Judy Gutierrez was happy to be back on the court.

“It’s good to be back, but it’s also been tiring because we’ve been practicing two times a day,” she said. “I’ve got a young team but these games are good competition for us that’s why I like scheduling games against tougher teams.

“I liked that we were aggressive and that we came back and fought, but we just let it slip away. Our passing hurt us today because were just sending them to the net, but I know they fought the first game but in the last couple of games we were just playing it safe and we weren’t attacking as much as we did in the first game.”