The McAllen Memorial Lady Mustangs made no doubt that they are among the elite volleyball teams in the Rio Grande Valley.
Coming into Tuesday’s game ranked No. 2 by 956sports.com, the Lady Mustangs turned up the horsepower en route to a convincing three-set victory over No. 4 Edinburg, 25-18, 25-15.
Memorial improved to 23-3 on the year while Edinburg dropped to 19-5.
Like boxers in the first round, the two teams were somewhat conservative throughout the first set, getting an idea of what each team had to to offer.
After that, is was hammer time provided by the Lady Mustangs attack. Senior hitter Taylor Marburger and Darian Ibarra each registered 10 kills while sophomore hitter Jocelynn Everage added nine kills.
“I told the girls in the huddle that they were looking comfortable and confidence and relaxed,” said Memorial head coach Lorena Lopez. “But they played aggressive at the same time.”
Even though the score reflected a one-sided match, Memorial came racked up 117 kill attempts, many times having to take multiple attempts to put the ball down as Edinburg’s defense played strong.
“We knew we would have to take multiple swings to put the ball away on them.” Lopez said.
Edinburg changed up the rhythm in the third game and took the lead early, tipping balls and trying to keep Memorial off balance with a balanced offense of tips, spikes and deep balls. Great passing and digs however, led by the Lady Mustangs’ libero, Abriana Saenz (16 digs) and Marburger (15 digs) transitioned into more offensive attacks, too many for the Lady Bobcat to keep digging.
Memorial was playing without two starters, including setter Alexia Kruse, and had switched from a 6-2 offense – with Marburger and Kruse setting, to a 5-1 set, meaning using one setter instead of two. Senior Morgan Bialaszewski, however, was up to the task registering 37 assists, eight digs and two kills.
Memorial returns to action on Saturday on the road against another ranked non-district opponent, No. 7 Los Fresnos.
McAllen Memorial’s Taylor Marburger (5) goes up to block a kill attempt from Edinburg High’s Amber Reyes during their non-district match Tuesday night at McAllen Memorial High School.
McAllen Memorial’s Morgan Bialaszewski (9) places a shot in between the double block of Edinburg High’s Marissa Arce (4) and Tiann Howard during their non-district match Tuesday night at McAllen Memorial High School.