Varsity Arabians Skylar Blanton and Aimee Carr set a big block against Veterans Memorial. By ADuBose
The Devine Arabians flexed their volleyball muscles big-time last week, going a perfect 8-0 with regular wins over Ingram and Hondo and picking up six more victories to claim their Annual Roundup Championship accomplishment.
“What a tournament for the Arabians!!!” exclaimed Head Coach Leigh Anne McIver. “This had to be some of the best volleyball played in Devine since I have been here. The girls really played as a family and fought for every single point.”
Devine’s championship-Saturday was preceded by three outstanding ball games in Thursday’s first round. Devine beat last year’s State Qualifying team D’Hanis 2-1 (22-25, 25-15, 25-16), Natalia 2-0 (25-23, 25-20), and Veterans Memorial 2-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-20).
As one can see from the scores of most of those matches, Devine got plenty of court time Thursday that helped with their cohesiveness and mental toughness going into Saturday’s matches.
The Arabians took down San Antonio Wagner 2-0 in their fourth game of the tournament, but first game on Saturday. Their 25-21 game one victory had a Thursday feel of being a long, drawn out battle but Devine trounced the Thunderbirds 25-14 in set two for the victory.
Game two Saturday may have provided the spark that McIver had been somewhat waiting to see from her entire team. Devine defeated San Antonio Jay 2-1 in a marathon that saw both of the first sets play-on past 25 points.
The Arabians won set one 29-27, lost set two 25-27, then won another tightly contested set three 25-21.
“The game between us and Jay was amazing!! Every single person on the team contributed and did exactly what their team needed from them.”
Devine’s 5-0 start to the Roundup put them in Championship-mode for game six of the tournament where they had to face off against Veterans Memorial once again.
The Arabians toughed out a 25-22 set one victory before losing set two 23-25. A championship plaque was there for the taking…and the Arabians took it, winning the third and final set 25-15.
“Going into the championship game, the girls stayed up and still fought for everything. You could see them talking to each other and really trusting and backing each other up. It was so great to see this on the floor!”
Twelve times throughout the Roundup Devine played sets in which both teams scored in the 20s. Eight times the Arabians came out on top of the set.
One can only imagine how these extremely tough, hard-fought victories will help the Arabians as they get closer to the start of District 29-4A action.
“I could not be prouder of the girls for their effort and being the true definition of a team,” McIver said in closing.
Rylee Esquibel and Brooklyn Miller shared CO-MVP honors while Kelsey Dishman also made the All-Tournament team.
Devine got their pre-tournament groove on against Ingram Tuesday, August 15th then followed with an emotional win against the Lady Owls Wednesday. The Arabians gained a lot of confidence in both victories, as shown with their dominating performance in the Roundup.
All three games versus Ingram had the Arabians digging deep to keep it from going a possible fifth set. Devine won 3-1, but each game was tightly contested.
The Arabians went 25-17, 25-21 in the first two sets before dropping the third set 27-25. Devine bounced back to claim the fourth set 27-25 putting the clamps down on any possible Lady Warrior comeback attempt.
Hondo was similar in competition to what Ingram was, and the games took on an almost identical feel as the Arabians won 3-1 once again.
Devine dropped the first set to the Owls 25-21 before reeling off three straight sets 25-17, 25-21-25-17. It is always good going into a tournament with a load of confidence, and the fact the last win was against the school’s rival made that victory a little sweeter.
Kills per set Brooklyn Miller 4.2, Rylee Esquibel 4.1 Hitting Percentage Miller .250, Esquibel .184 Total blocks Maddie DuBose 21, Airyanna Rodriguez 15, Skylar Blanton 8 Digs per set Kelsey Dishman 5.4, Miller 3.4, Esquibel 2.9 Serving aces Miller 35, Kate Featherly 22, Dishman 19 Aces per set Miller .6, Featherly .4, Dishman .3 Digs Dishman 305, Miller 192, Esquibel 164 Assists Kynedie Cruz 305, Featherly 233 Kills Miller 234, Esquibel 231 Receptions Dishman 430, Miller 301, Esquibel 183.
The now 13-6 Arabians, including 7-1 at the SAC, traveled to the Spinach Capital of the World last night to take on the Lady Javelinas. Devine moves on to Seguin for its Annual Tournament August 24-26 before taking on Southwest Legacy in San Antonio August 29.
District begins September 8 at home against Uvalde.