By Kyle Gregory
Lake Travis volleyball notched another district victory Tuesday night with a 25-13, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22 win over visiting Anderson.
“That was a close one; I love battles like that,” Lake Travis coach Jennifer Kazmierski said. “We’ve been in a lot of battles this season. The team is doing a better job of recognizing that, after losing a set, the match isn’t over. It’s one set of the match. We didn’t make the adjustments that we need to, so now we go back and focus on the plan and doing what we need to do. They did a good job.”
Lake Travis stuck to their system in the first game, playing composed defense and allowing Anderson to make mistakes. The strategy paid off, as Anderson hung with the Lady Cavs (14-17, 4-1) for the first half of the match, but wilted under a seven-point Lake Travis assault, which included a string of three consecutive aces from Melodi Ramirez.
“We started out really strong offensively and defensively. We were talking, and it was just a great atmosphere,” Ramirez said. “When Anderson stepped up their game, it was kind of a surprise.”
The Lake Travis machine fell under duress in the second game. The Lady Trojans jumped to a 4-1 lead, and from there it was a tightly contested battle. Solid blocking at the net by Audrey Scrafford, Claire McCown and Ramirez allowed the Cavs to tie the game at 9-9, which set up a 16-12 Lake Travis advantage. Anderson scrapped for the remainder of the game, but once again, the Lady Cavs defense held them off and secured the win.
“These tight matches are really intense,” Kaitland Currier said. “Every team that comes to play us is going to give us their best game. We’re Lake Travis, and we have big shoes to fill. When we get to these points, it’s a little stressful, but we work through it and pull each other together.”
The roles reversed in the third game, as an uncharacteristically sloppy Lake Travis team gave up six points before successfully scoring on the Trojans. Anderson seized the momentum and surged ahead 15-6. Late errors and a stingy Trojan defense stymied a Lake Travis comeback and Anderson held on to win.
“They’re hard to stop when they’re in system,” Kazmierski said. “They’ve got great hitters that were moving the ball around and putting the ball in good places. We stopped moving the ball and playing defense.”
The final game was the closest of the match. Anderson again took an early lead, but the Cavs kept their cool and soon it was back and forth, with Anderson holding an advantage for most of the contest. Down 10-14, Lake Travis slowly began to overtake the Trojans. Currier and Corey Cable kept the Anderson assault at bay, while Marisa Ochoa and Ramirez countered with powerful hits of their own. Lake Travis tied the game at 22 with a big strike by Ramirez and then put it away with a block and two hard shots from Ochoa.
“It takes a lot of character to come back like that; it’s about sticking together and just being tough,” said Kazmierski. “We’ve been talking about what that looks like all season, and that’s what it looks like. Those last four points are indicative of what we’re trying to be all the time.
Ochoa led the team in kills with 17. Currier had 22 assists and 10 digs, while Cable contributed 21 assists and 11 digs. McCown had three blocks and Ramirez had three aces.
Lake Travis hosts Austin High Friday at 6:30 p.m.
“Austin High is really good,” Ramirez said. “They definitely have a lot of weapons. We’re looking forward to them, because we know a lot of their players.”
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