RAYMONDVILLE — Entering their early season match against rival Raymondville, Lyford coach Lisa Lancaster was looking for answers.
With six returners from last year’s squad, the young Lady Bulldogs may have found the right formula.
After settling in and taking the first set, Lyford trailed by as much as eight early in the second set only to regroup and rally for the win. The win in the second game fueled Lyford to a 25-19, 25-23, 25-19 win over Raymondville on Tuesday night.
“The kids did a lot better of sticking to what they said they were going to do,” Lancaster said. “They knew what they needed to do coming into the game and stuck true to what they said they were going to do, and we saw that especially in that third set. I think that came with the confidence and the kids sticking to their guns.”
Senior Kayleen May was the catalyst in the middle for the Lady Bulldogs. In the second set, Lyford kept plugging away and trimmed the lead 17-15 and 22-20 before taking their first lead of the match at 24-23.
May owes the rally to Lancaster, who called a timeout midway through the game that helped fuel the comeback.
“In that second set we just slowed things down, and we trusted each other and we communicated a lot better,” May said. “We were able to bring up our energy as well. We got down on ourselves early but we started cheering each other on and that’s when we found our grove. We had trailed early on in the match, and coach calling that timeout really helped us.”
Along with May, Karla Medina and Claire Gonzalez had a key hand in the win. Lyford is now 3-3 on the young season, with Tuesday night’s win their first true regular season match. Up next will be a home match at noon Saturday against Lasara.
“The first game we had a small issue with keeping the energy and communication,” Lancaster said. “Once we got the momentum on our side it was easier because they play well together. In practice they do really well.”
Raymondville, meanwhile, has three returning starters from last year and is rebuilding. The Lady Kats are 1-5 on the young season and travel to San Perlita on Saturday.
“We did not communicate well tonight, we have a young team. We have three returners from last year, and the rest of the girls do not have varsity experience,” Raymondville coach Norma Rodriguez said. “It is an adjustment and we are working on it, and it is tough with just three returning from last year.”