Lady Hounds top Vela in 1st round of playoffs

SAN BENITO — For the first time since 2011, the San Benito Lady Greyhounds are heading to the area round.

San Benito got the best of Edinburg Vela 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 25-10 on Tuesday in a Class 6A bi district playoff match. The Lady Hounds will now play McAllen Rowe at a time and place still to be decided.

“We’re very excited to be moving on,” said San Benito coach Ruby Medina. “I told the girls from the get-go that we haven’t been to the second round in years and this year’s team has the talent to make a playoff run.

“Tonight the girls wanted it and playing at home helped us. I could see it in them and it showed in their performance.”

After a convincing win in the first set, Edinburg Vela rebounded with a 25-23 win that gave the Lady Sabercats momentum. But like they have done before, the Lady Hounds adjusted, kept their cool and came out firing.

“The adjustments are something I always have to do depending how the girls come out,” Medina said. “Every game is a different scenario. Tonight I had to make adjustments with our servers, but the girls are used to the adjustments so I know when I do them the girls will be ready.”

Kayleen Reyes, who played a big part in the win, was also excited about the victory.

“We had some nerves coming into the match, but we have played them (Vela) before and we had confidence that we could get it done,” she said. “We had to keep the intensity up the entire game knowing they’re a good team. Their hitters were very good and smart so it was definitely a challenge.”

In the third set, the Lady Hounds raced out to an 8-2 lead and kept their offensive attack going behind Reyes and Crystal Ibarra. The Lady Hounds fed off their home crowd with each kill.

Reyes finished with a team-high 16 kills followed up by a 26-dig, 24-assist, three-kill performance. Ibarra backed Reyes’ strong performance with 14 kills, 21 digs and two blocks.

The fourth set presented its own challenge for the Lady Hounds. Vela got ahead early 11-8, but San Benito erased the deficit and took a 12-11 lead and once again found its footing and pulled away with a strong offensive performance.

“The girls have worked hard all year, they deserve this,” Medina said of her team. “Vela is a great team and I wanted our girls to take it one point at a time, and I told them that if they play like they know how, they will be successful.”