Salado and Ellison both had reason for optimism following Ellison’s 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-13 win in its home opener Tuesday.

But neither remained focused on that result because both believe they can be better.

In its first loss of the season, Class 4A Salado battled Ellison, two classes above it in size, late into the first set then rallied to take the second set before Ellison won two straight to end the match.

Yet first-year Salado head coach Heather Poeske and her team weren’t satisfied with just competing well against a larger school.

After all, they’ll be seeing plenty of larger schools in the near future.

“I saw a lot of good things, and I saw a lot of areas that we’re going to go back to work tomorrow,” Poeske said. “We’re playing a lot of 6A schools this week. Last week was a lot of small schools.”

Ellison, meanwhile, will continue to work on its consistency, which has been a concern early in the season.

Ellison head coach William De Gracia said his team will do that by practicing full speed so that errors don’t result when they play that way in games.

“We had what, nine net calls? That’s ridiculous,” De Gracia said. “So that’s what we’ve got to work on, just get them to practice in game mode.”

But De Gracia was far from discouraged following the match Tuesday.

“Hopefully we’ll be alright,” De Gracia said. “I’m just excited.”

Contact Jordan Mason at or 254-501-7562​

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