SALADO — Coach Diane Konarik is still looking to get a consistent match from her Salado team.
Lampasas might argue that the Lady Eagles have already reached a high level, with Salado’s 25-14, 25-17, 25-10 sweep in a District 19-4A match serving as proof Tuesday night.
“A win is a win no matter how you get it,” Konarik said. “But I think we play scrappy and still don’t play clean volleyball, which is what I want them to do.”
The Lady Eagles (17-8, 2-0) played clean enough volleyball in the opening set, building a 14-3 lead before the Lady Badgers went on a run to get within 19-13. Salado put the set away with the help of four straight hitting errors by Lampasas, followed by a kill from Brettney Fuller.
“It took us a while to warm up,” Lampasas coach Denise Ponder said. “But once they were in the game, reading it right, they were on.”
The Lady Badgers (4-16, 0-2) fell behind by large deficits to begin each set, trailing 9-2 in the second and 7-2 in the third before playing the Lady Eagles fairly evenly the rest of the way both times.
“We had some really big hits and did some really good things the first set, moving the ball around,” Konarik said. “But then we kind of stopped in the second and third.”
Part of it was because of the defense of Lampasas, led by freshman libero Brooklyn Edgar, who totaled more than 20 digs and led the Lady Badgers with four kills from the back row.
“She’s very strong,” Ponder said. “I saw her coming up through the middle schools and already knew the potential she had. She has so much growth inside her. Our back row has really stepped up. We struggled in the back row last year and it was really hard for us to get the ball up and over. They are more experienced now and have really done a great job.”
Part of Lampasas’ troubles was caused by its inability to adjust to the strict officiating, with the lady Badgers getting whistled for 12 double-hits during the match.
“We know that head referee and we know him to be like that,” Ponder said. “It’s a mental thing for the girls. When you know he’s going to be the top ref, be ready.
“He was good. He called it on both sides.”
The Lady Eagles did a better job adjusting to it — getting called for just five double-hits — but had a more difficult time adjusting to the Lady Badgers’ scrappy play.
“We play to the level of our opponent,” Konarik said. “Not to take anything away from Lampasas, they have a lot of young players and don’t really have a power hitter. It’s hard not to play at their level. But we have to play our game. We have to play Salado ball and not worry about who we are playing, just play like they are the top of the district.”
Landry Rogers led the Lady Eagles with 10 kills and an ace. Katie Robinson added seven kills and three aces, and Fuller had four aces along with two kills.
Lampasas will look for its first district win when it hosts Llano on Friday.
“We are working hard,” Ponder said. “Our setters are trying to find that right touch for the ball. They really want that W and they are working hard to get it.”
Salado will look to remain perfect in district Friday when it travels to Leander Glenn.
“I’m excited about this team,” Konarik said. “I’ve been excited since the beginning of the school year. We have a good group of seniors and they work hard.
“The whole team works really hard.”