Young Lionettes starting to hit their stride

By Kevin Narro, Valley Morning Star

LA FERIA — With the non-district season coming to a close, La Feria just might have found the right formula for its 2019 season.

On Tuesday, the Lionettes held parents night and had a little pep in their step.

La Feria received a strong offensive performance from Sierra Salinas, who finished with 10 kills, one dig and one ace. Teaming up with Salinas was Jeno Ochoa, who had nine kills and one block, as La Feria swept PSJA Memorial 25-23, 25-22, 25-21.

“The kids were excited. We hadn’t played too many home matches, it had been a while,” La Feria coach Rebea Fraga said. “That always makes you a little nervous, we had the football team up in the stands cheering, but the kids responded well. It was a fun match.”

La Feria took the first set and — in the second and third sets — dug in and fended off the Lady Wolverines on multiple occasions.

“We have adjusted well. We are playing well right now, and it’s like we have been playing together for forever,” Salinas said. “We are feeling great, and we have done well when it comes to the chemistry and bonding. Tonight we felt hyped with our student section out there, we didn’t want to disappoint them, and as a senior tonight was emotional for sure.”

Reanne Fraga chipped in with an all-around effort, finishing with four kills, four aces, seven assists and a pair of digs. Ayisha Castillo checked in nine assists and two digs.

The Lionettes entered 2019 with a few holes by having to replace Karina Diaz, Mary Winton and Felicity Watson. Despite the early season struggles, La Feria has now won back-to-back matches and has a date with Weslaco East on Saturday to wrap up the non-district schedule.

“This just might have been our most complete match we have played,” Rebea Fraga said.

“We have had some tough matches. We started in the McAllen tournament there, then went to the Port Isabel tournament and we had some success but struggled a bit, and then went to Hidalgo. Our record isn’t great right now, but it doesn’t matter because we are not in district yet. But we play these tougher teams to prepare us for district, because our district is tough.”

La Feria will begin its district season Sept. 10 at home against Progreso. La Feria, which made the playoffs last year and is no stranger to the postseason, just needed to figure out the pieces by putting them in the right place.

“We have won two in a row now, and I feel like we have some momentum and we are playing better,” Rebea Fraga said. “That is what the preseason is for, to put together those pieces, and hopefully we found them.”