Lady Ganders can’t overcome Friendswood up front
Mary Grosjean has overseen an overhaul of many things within the Robert E. Lee volleyball program which has led to a number of positives on the court.
The first-year head coach has witnessed her team win a number of matches, battle in losses and overall up its quality of play.
Yet, against Class 5A power Friendswood Tuesday night, the Lady Ganders and Grosjean saw firsthand what the next level looks like and ultimately dropped a 3-0 (25-6, 25-15, 25-14) decision in District 22-5A play, but not before showing the scrap REL is associated with.
Naomi Hockless (five kills, 11 blocks), Celeste Shaw (two kills, four blocks), Senaya Stapleton (four blocks) and Gabi Lara (19 digs) led REL (11-18, 1-5) in the defeat.
The Lady Ganders next travel to Crosby for a 6:30 p.m. Friday matchup.
“We changed our rotation so I think it took us a while to adjust to new things in that first set,” Grosjean said. “We went into the game and knew what we were up against. We respect them and appreciate what they do, but I don’t think our girls were scared or intimidated.”
In the final two sets, the Lady Ganders block began to get more hands on Friendswood attacks, many of which came from a bevy of quick sets in the middle, and lengthen points out.
“We wanted to focus on our side and competing, because our girls can compete,” Grosjean said. “If we can do that ... good things will happen.”
The REL’s lack of height up front really came into focus in this match as the Mustangs, big across the net, took advantage of many holes up top and swung away.
“Our team is kind of short and we played a lot of tall girls that were just swinging,” Hockless said. “We really couldn’t get a block in there, but our digs were pretty good after the first set. The block really did hurt us because we really have only one tall girl.
“The second set we did compete more and were more aggressive. I felt good that we at least tried.”
It was a night where REL might have wished itself to be taller.
“My girls hustled and did their best, but sometimes you have to work with what you got,” Grojean said.
REL 3, C.E. King 0
Sterling (16-11, 4-2) won easily 3-0 (25-9, 25-11, 25-17) as Jasmine Moore (10 kills), Brooke Benoit (15 assists) and Kayla Jones (13 digs) led the way.
Barbers Hill 3, PN-G 0
Barbers Hill moved to 6-0 in District 21-5A play with the 25-23, 25-17, 25-18 sweep of the Indians.
GCM 3, Ball 1
The Lady Patriots are now 30-10 overall and 3-3 in district play with a 25-15, 25-27, 25-12, 25-16 over Ball.
Taylor Kotlarz had nine kills, Kaitlyn Herrera 17 digs and Zoe Martinez 20 assists to lead GCM.