The Santa Fe Lady Indians served up a whopping 27 aces en route to a 25-1, 25-5, 25-11 win over Houston Waltrip at Butler Fieldhouse in a Region III-5A bi-district playoff match Monday.
“We served really tough tonight,” Santa Fe head coach Jennifer Webb said. “I kind of had a feeling that there would be a difference in the skill level between us and them, so I told my kids coming out, ‘You start aggressive, you stay aggressive, and you don’t let up.’”
An opening serve into the net for Waltrip was a prelude to what was a one-sided affair in the serving game. After Waltrip’s service error, the Lady Rams simply could not handle the serves of Lady Indians junior outside hitter Kylie Verm, who had seven aces during a 12-0 start to the first set for Santa Fe.
Verm went on to finish the match with eight kills, nine digs and 12 aces to lead the way for the Lady Indians.
Waltrip’s only point of the first set came by way of a Verm serve that landed just out of bounds, and a kill and a block from senior outside hitter Breanne Harris kicked off a 13-0 run — which included seven aces from sophomore libero Elena Dondonay — to finish off the first set.
Getting off to a 15-2 start in the second set and an 18-4 lead in the third set, Santa Fe was in control of things throughout Monday’s contest, which only lasted about 55 minutes.
“It was definitely a confidence booster for my kids to just be able to get out there and serve those tough serves without the fear of making a mistake,” Webb said.
Dondonay finished the match with 11 aces and five digs. Kassidy Taves facilitated the offense with 14 assists, while Maddie Schulze chipped in five assists.
Back in the postseason after a one-year hiatus, the Lady Indians move on to the area round of the playoffs where they will face the winner of the bi-district match between District 22-5A champion Port Neches-Groves and District 21-5A fourth-place finisher Crosby later this week at a time, date and location to be determined.
Regardless of the matchup, the area round will represent a drastic step up in competition, and Webb said the key to making that adjustment will be to keep ratcheting up the intensity at practices.
“We didn’t take it lightly in practice for this team here; we worked as if we were going to be playing somebody like PN-G or Barbers Hill,” Webb said.