A little off from the start, the Lake Travis volleyball team took a surprising loss Tuesday, Oct. 23 in its final district game before the playoffs begin next week.
Austin High was the aggressor from the start, using some different tactics on the outside and in the middle to throw the Lady Cavaliers (20-19, 9-3 District 15-5A) defense off from the get-go en route to a four game 25-21, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21 victory.
After falling behind and dropping the first two games, Lake Travis showed its normal resiliency and took the third game to extend the match. It looked as if the Lady Cavs would keep climbing and win the fourth game, too, but the Lady Maroons kept placing their attack in spots that kept Lake Travis scrambling and out of position to close out the win.
“We were just not ready to do our job,” coach Jennifer Kazmierski said. “it definitely took us way too long to get started. There was a a lot of indecisiveness, that’s definitely not what we like.”
Even in the loss, Lake Travis never let emotions run low as the demeanor of the squad steady throughout.
Afterward the team, though stunned by the loss, was ready to look toward the postseason, which start next week Oct. 30 against a District 16-5A opponent to be determined. Things were nearly settled in 16-5A until Pflugerville was wiped from the playoff slate due to an ineligible player while Westwood, Round Rock and Henrickson wound up in a three-way tie with things still to be settled.
“We’ll just learn from it, I’m looking forward to (the playoffs),” said Audrey Scrafford, who had 12 kills. “As long as no one gives up, theres never a 100 percent possibility that we’ll lose, no matter what the score says.”
The Lady Cavs attack was off in the match against Austin High (15-18, 7-5), yet the Lady Maroons were able to pinpoint kills and soft taps over the net that had Lake Travis out of position and out of sorts.
“Their outsides were more sporadic with their shots,” Melodi Ramirez said. “It kind of took us by surprise; they definitely brought the middle in more. You should never be surprised in volleyball, but it took us a while to adjust. It definitely makes us humble.”
Corey Cable did her best to keep the offense moving with 28 assists, but the team had 25 hitting errors in the loss.
Defensively, Haley Mahlum had nine digs and Sydney Lineberry notched four.
Marissa Ochoa led the Lady Cavs with 13 kills, Claire McCown and Amanda Wolken both added eight. Ramirez had four blocks while McCown and Wolken had two.
Lake Travis fell behind in the first game before rallying to make it close, but eventually dropped the set and saw the same reoccurrence in the second-game loss.
Trailing in Game 3, the Lady Cavs started to hit the ball succinctly and scrambled to save points while in position to take a come-from-behind victory.
Things started well in Game 4 to keep the Lady Cavs momentum going, but unforced errors — which plagued the team all night – cropped back up again in the form of balls hit into the net, bumps going astray and defensive misalignment.
With a playoff spot secured, the Lady Cavs will face a District 16-5A foe on Oct. 30 with hopes of starting a lengthy winning streak a year removed from its second-straight state title in Class 4A.
In 5A this year, the Lady Cavs have rugged challenges ahead.
“I don’t doubt that we were fighting hard,” Kazmierski said. “When you’re struggling you can try too much and overplay your position. I saw a lot of that out there. I never think it’s a bad thing to lose right before the playoffs. It shows you you’re still vulnerable.”
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