HARLINGEN — Fresh off a tournament title at this past weekend’s Port Isabel Tournament, the Harlingen South Lady Hawks were eager to keep momentum going heading into their non-district home match vs. Brownsville Lopez on Tuesday.
After breezing through games 1 and 2, the Lady Hawks (13-2) struggled down the stretch but still managed to close out the Lady Lobos 25-13, 25-11, 25-20.
“We have a lot of cleaning up to do,” said Lady Hawks head coach Jennifer Taliancich after the contest. “These girls are all new to each other so they still have a lot of meshing to do.”
The team seemed to mesh just fine early on as they dominated Lopez through the first two sets.
In Game 1, the Lady Hawks took an early lead behind some solid net play and never looked back.
The same went for Game 2, although several errors by the Lady Lobos aided South nicely.
However, in Game 3, the momentum shifted as the Lady Lobos came to life behind some nice defense as well as a few South miscues.
With the game knotted at 7, the teams traded punches until Lopez finally muscled its way to a 14-12 advantage, prompting Coach Taliancich to call a timeout.
“It was an attitude thing there,” Taliancich said of her team’s performance to start the third game. “They were getting frustrated because they usually play more cohesively and they got frustrated that they just couldn’t get it together right away.
“In the timeout I told them how they were reacting and that they needed to come together.”
Initially, the talk seemed to do little as the Lady Lobos pushed their lead to 18-14 and appeared ready to force a Game 4.
However, the Lady Hawks suddenly woke up and began to make their comeback thanks to some strong defense and very solid frontline play from Cameron Del Angel, Allyson Benavides and Vanessa Santillan.
A nice shot by Benavides from the left wing tied things up at 18 and the Lady Hawks were on their way as Lopez simply couldn’t counter.
The Lady Hawks will now play in a tournament in Laredo this weekend before hosting La Feria and Brownsville Pace in a tri-match next Tuesday, and Edinburg Economedes a week from Friday.
District play opens on Sept. 10 when the Lady Hawks host the Harlingen Lady Cardinals.