Carroll defeats Los Fresnos in Volley at the Beach tournament final

The Los Fresnos Lady Falcons stand with their runner-up trophy after the second game of the Volley at the Beach championship match against Corpus Christi Carroll Saturday night at Port Isabel High School. The Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Falcons 25-22, 25-16. By Stefan Modrich, The Brownsville Herald

PORT ISABEL — Los Fresnos volleyball coach Becky Woods approached each day of the Volley at the Beach tournament with caution, guarding against overconfidence.

In a rematch of their pool play round, the Lady Falcons had an opportunity to avenge Friday’s loss to Corpus Christi Carroll in the championship game, but found the Lady Tigers’ heavy hitters an obstacle too formidable to overcome Saturday night, falling 25-22, 25-16.

Woods was still very pleased with her team’s performance overall, with the exception of blocking, which was exposed by the height and length of a strong Carroll squad.

“They’re a good team, they’re a good squad,” Woods said. “They’re going to do well up there in the Corpus area. We played a really good team (from) out of the Valley.”

She added that Los Fresnos did have a good day serving against Carroll. With Los Fresnos trailing 14-13 during the first game, Jasmin Garcia recorded a service ace to pull even. She broke an 18-all tie with a block up front.

The Lady Tigers regained the lead after kills from Vanessa Quiroga and Jaedyn Degon put Carroll back ahead 21-20, prompting a timeout, and they won four of the next six points to take the first game.

“They would swing it around, and they cut the ball sharply,” Woods said. “Our blockers couldn’t adjust to that.”

Quiroga, Degon, and Kiah Barron gave Los Fresnos trouble up front, putting the Lady Falcons in a 6-1 hole to open the second game. This was compounded with the absence of Jasmin Garcia, who was benched for much of the second game.

Los Fresnos received a much-needed boost when a kill from Gio Godoy stopped a Carroll run that had swelled the Lady Tigers’ lead to 14-6. The Lady Falcons chipped away at the margin and narrowed it 16-10 with the inspired play of Caydence Castillo and Tate Halford, but Los Fresnos was ultimately flummoxed by Carroll’s elite play near and above the net.

The Lady Falcons will continue non-district action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Brownsville Porter.

“Nobody in the Valley beat us, so that’s what I’m happy about,” Woods said. “We’ll learn from here. It’s a stepping stone. We’ll start Monday fresh and see what happens Tuesday night.”

The Hanna Lady Golden Eagles competed for third place. Their earlier match with Corpus Christi Carroll was among the most competitive of the tournament. The Lady Eagles at one point led Game 2 13-11, but the Lady Tigers rallied with three straight points after a timeout to take a 24-19 advantage and put Hanna on the brink of elimination. Odalys Gonzalez’s shot was blocked to give Carroll the 25-20 victory in the second game.

Earlier, Hanna defeated Lopez in crosstown action, 25-20, 25-20. The Lady Lobos topped La Feria 25-17, 25-20 and Weslaco East 25-22, 25-17 in the gold consolation bracket.

In the third-place match, Hanna took the first game against PSJA Southwest 25-18 before dropping the next two, 25-23 and 15-8.

Stefan Modrich Total Posts: 158 Stefan Modrich is a 2017 graduate of Arizona State University, where he was the Sports Editor for The State Press, ASU's independent student news publication. He is also a graduate of the University of Zagreb in Croatia, where he completed a foreign language program in 2018. A native of Franklin Park, Illinois, Modrich previously covered high school sports for The Arizona Republic, Chicago Tribune, and Mars Reel Media.