(Spring Branch) – Seguin’s goal of a second straight trip to the 5A Region IV volleyball tournament was sabotaged Friday night by an untimely injury and a scrappy Kerrville-Tivy effort in a four-set regional quarterfinal loss at Smithson Valley High School.
Three of the four games went into extra points, and Tivy won the first of those 30-28 after erasing a 22-18 Seguin lead with a 5-0 run and outscoring the Mats 7-6 the rest of the way. Seguin built a 19-13 cushion in the second set, withstood a 6-0 game-tying surge by the Antlers, and tied the match with a 25-22 win.
With the Matadors leading 15-13 in the third set, their best player and All-State outside hitter fell to the floor with a knee injury, left the court, and was sidelined for the rest of the night. Seguin remained focused and competitive in building a 22-18 lead, but Tivy same storming back with an 8-2 run to take a 2-1 match lead with a 26-24 win.
Seguin fell behind 23-18 in the fourth set and refused to go down quietly, fighting back to the brink of forcing a fifth and deciding game by forging a 26-25 lead. The Antlers recovered in time to string three straight points together for a match-clinching 28-26 win.
Seguin head coach Kristi Stanley commended her team for fighting valiantly and nearly pulling off a victory after losing Cheek to the Game 3 injury.
“We knew we wanted to be at the regional tournament, and that was a goal we set at the beginning of the season, and Abby’s a huge part of this team, but just because she went down didn’t mean that wasn’t still our goal,” Stanley said. “Kaitlyn Baker did a great job of coming in and having some huge attacks right there at the beginning when she came in, and I think that gave our team some confidence that we were going to be okay, and that we were still going to battle. So very unfortunate for Abby, but great job by the team.”
Desiray Rodriguez produced a team-high 10 kills to with seven solo blocks and two block assists. Cheek had eight kills in her injury-shortened appearance, Emmy Riordan finished with seven, Presley Carter five, and Kaitlyn Baker four. Megan Wilke set for 34 assists, while Kaylie Koenen collected 38 digs and delivered three service aces. Wilke added 25 digs, and Cheek came up with 14.
Tuesday was the final varsity volleyball match for Seguin seniors Cheek, Koenen, Rodriguez, Carter, Wilke, Leandra Priestly, and Brittany Moreno.
Stanley was emotional in reflecting on the high standard those players have set for the program.
“They’ve been with me a long time, especially Abby, Kaylie, and Des, all four years, and by this time they’re like assistant coaches,” the coach said. “They already know what I want before anything gets done, and they do an amazing job. I’m going to miss them tremendously.”
Seguin’s seniors helped the program advance a combined total of 10 playoff rounds over the past three seasons. After finishing second in District 26-5A during the regular season and advancing to the regional quarterfinals, the Matadors final 2017 record is 28-16.