The playoff race in both District 32- and 31-6A became a bit clearer after Tuesday’s matches. Two matches remain in the regular season and there are still teams trying to clinch playoff berths.
District 32-6A saw Los Fresnos escape a Harlingen High rally in five sets, San Benito won a pivotal match against Brownsville Hanna and Brownsville Rivera clinched at least a share of the league title.
Los Fresnos, Rivera set to clash Saturday: Thanks to a 25-7, 25-7, 25-15 win at home Tuesday against Weslaco East, the Rivera Lady Raiders (12-0) clinched at least a tie for the 32-6A championship.
Rivera closes out the regular season at second-place Los Fresnos (10-2) at noon Saturday and plays at home at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Harlingen South.
Los Fresnos is the only other 32-6A team that has clinched a playoff spot. The district’s final two postseason berths will go to San Benito (8-4), Harlingen High (7-5) or Hanna (6-6). Hanna is at home against Harlingen at noon Saturday and San Benito is at Harlingen at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Lady Raiders are district champions for the first time since 2007.
Rivera’s solid, consistent play on defense perhaps has been the difference in giving the Lady Raiders a bit of an edge against the 32-6A competition.
“Our girls have been playing aggressively and pretty smart,” Rivera coach Elizabeth Avelar-Guerra said. “I tell our girls to keep the ball alive (defensively) because when they do that, the other team’s offense tends to get frustrated. I know that for a fact because it’s happened to us.”
Cards and Hounds eyeing final two spots: San Benito picked up a huge win Tuesday night against Brownsville Hanna. The win puts the Lady Hounds in prime position for a playoff spot with two games against Weslaco and Harlingen remaining.
The Lady Hounds are (8-4) currently the three seed in 32-6A and a win Saturday would lock up a playoff berth.
Harlingen and Hanna are battling for the final playoff spot in 32-6A and the two will meet Saturday at Hanna. In order for Hanna to clinch a playoff berth it needs to win out and hope Harlingen drops its final two matches.
The Lady Cards remain a game up and are in control of their own destiny. Harlingen does have an uphill battle over the final two games against Hanna and San Benito.
Raymondville, La Feria set for district title match: For the second straight season, the District 32-4A title will be decided on the final day of the regular season between Raymondville and La Feria.
Last season, La Feria beat Raymondville on the Lionettes home court to claim the crown outright. This year, Raymondville will host La Feria on Monday. The case is simple: La Feria can win the district title outright with a win. A Raymondville win would give the Lady Kats a share of the league crown.
La Feria is looking to bounce back after falling to Rio Hondo on Tuesday.
Roy Hess of the Brownsville Herald contributed to this story