The Friendswood Lady Mustangs continued their dominant season by torching the Brazoswood Lady Buccaneers in three sets in Monday night’s bi-district playoff round game.
Friendswood (which improved to 32-9 overall) won by scores of 25-8, 25-17 and 25-10 to advance to the area round of the playoffs while ending the Buccaneers’ season.
Brazoswood finished with a 14-17 overall record.
Consistency was the key to the Mustangs’ win.
“We didn’t make too many errors and we were able to keep the score low for the other team,” said Friendswood head coach Sarah Paulk.
Coming off an undefeated district championship in 24-6A, the Mustangs won the first and third sets with relative ease while the Buccaneers (who came in as the fourth seed in District 23-6A) managed to give Friendswood a tough run in the second set.
McKenna Fridye finished with 16 kills for the Mustangs while Faith Marabella had six. Kylie Lockhart had 16 digs for Friendswood while Elle McGown had seven.
For the Buccaneers, Carley Boswell led the team in kills with only four while Camryn Hayes had three. Adile Leal had seven digs while Faith Samuel finished with five blocks.
“Going into this matchup, we knew this was going to be a tough game,” said Brazoswood head coach Elizabeth Limas. “I told the girls that we had to come in and battle and they did in that second set. I’m super proud of how they played in the second set. I think we were a little shell shocked in that first set and didn’t know what to expect. But we found our comfort zone and told them that good things will come out of that.”
The Mustangs started off fast, going on a 6-1 run to begin the first set.
Kills by Lauren Hubbard and Fridye helped the Mustangs build on their lead.
Madison Weisinger earned the Mustangs a point to give Friendswood an 11-2 advantage.
It was 13-2 Friendswood before the Buccaneers took a timeout.
The Buccaneers managed to come out of the break and go on a 5-4 run but still had trouble closing the gap.
A point by Natalie Abowd pushed the Mustangs to a 17-5 lead as Friendswood kept its foot on the pedal in the opening set.
Marabella’s kill continued Friendswood’s run at 21-7.
A serve error by Friendswood delayed the ending of the first set but only momentarily.
Friendswood used a 4-1 run to close out the first game.
“Any time that you’re in the playoffs, you want to come out and play very well and keep the errors down,” Paulk said. “That was a huge accomplishment for us.”
The Buccaneers came out looking stronger in the second set, going on a 5-4 run before taking a 7-6 lead with points by Samuel.
“Faith had a couple of good blocks for us tonight,” Limas said. “I haven’t seen her play this well in a while but she put up a few good blocks for us.”
But Friendswood had an answer for every Brazoswood point and the Mustangs came out of a timeout on a 9-1 run to take a 19-13 lead.
The Mustangs went on a 6-4 run to finish the set.
In total, the Buccaneers took the lead four times in the second set.
“I think it was the passion that played a big role in the second set from our players,” Limas said. “The seniors helped drive us and it was a momentum builder.”
Fridye’s kill early in the third set put the Mustangs in front 3-2.
“McKenna’s had a really great season and did well tonight,” Paulk said. “I don’t think she realizes how good she really is. She’s done a great job for us.”
Friendswood continued its dominance, building an 8-3 advantage before Brazoswood called a timeout.
A kill by Fridye saw the Mustangs take a 17-8 lead soon after and Friendswood had little trouble in finishing off the match.
As the Mustangs prepare for their next round of the playoffs, Paulk stressed the importance of her players to not get too overconfident.
“I think if anything, we can be our own worst enemies if we’re not careful,” Paulk said. “But we have a lot of confidence and we believe in ourselves.”