Lady Hounds’ season ends against Rowe in straight sets

SAN BENITO — The McAllen Rowe Lady Warriors made it clear that they’re one of the top teams in the Valley when it comes to volleyball.

On Saturday, Rowe completed a 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 area-round playoff sweep over San Benito and advanced to the Class 6A regional quarterfinals.

“It’s always tough to play on the road, especially in the playoffs,” said Rowe coach Magda Canales. “There are always adjustments that need to be made, but I thought our girls came out strong and performed today.”

Rowe will play Laredo United at 7 p.m. Monday at Alice High School.

Despite the loss, San Benito head coach remained positive and optimistic about her team’s future.

“All season long our girls played hard and this is an accomplishment to make the second round for the first time since 2011,” said Medina. “Our girls played well against a tough team in Nikki Rowe. We struggled with some of the rotations and missed on some opportunities, but I’m proud of my girls on how they played.”

The Lady Warriors came out swinging in the first set and took an early 16-10 lead and then Rowe saw junior Jackelyn Alanis take over the contest. Alanis fueled the Lady Warriors’ attack with a team-high 34 kills and 35 digs.

Rowe took early leads in all three sets and never looked back. Adrianna Martinez finished the day with three kills and 18 digs.

San Benito has a successful 2017 season led by veteran coach Medina. The Lady Hounds will lose their top three hitters to graduation, Kayleen Reyes, Krystal Ibarra and Arlene Lucero. However, they’ll have plenty of key pieces returning next season with Sarah Garcia, Ariel Garcia, Alysa Naranjo and Andrea DeLeon all slated to return to the lineup.

“We set the pace for the younger girls coming up,” Medina said. “I told the younger girls to keep their heads up because this is something we hadn’t done since 2011. Next year we want to come back strong and aim for a district title and go on a playoff run. This year, I had a lot of sophomores so defensively we will be strong, I’ll have to replace my hitters, but we will be OK.”