• Senior outside hitter Kelli Wilcox gets under a serve.

Lady Buckaroos open district play Saturday against Early

The Breckenridge High School volleyball team played its final top-teer opponent before opening district play Saturday against Early.

The Lady Buckaroos fell to perennial 2A powerhouse Archer City in three sets (25-10, 25-21, 25-12), but nearly took the second set following a dramatic turnaround.

“The second game, we played better than what we were,” Breckenridge coach Jeana Yarbrough said. “In games one and three, once we got past the initial shock, the game was much better than the score indicated. My girls never gave up.”

Thanks to Archer City senior all-district middle hitter Lauren Castles, the play of the Lady Buckaroos’ back-line took center stage Saturday, leading to a few highlights on seemingly miraculous digs.

“We were moving and talking more,” Breckenridge senior outside hitter Kelli Wilcox said. “In the second set, we got really pumped, stayed positive, talked up and encouraged each other.”

After getting blown out in the first set, the Lady Buckaroos rebounded in the second set by jumping out to a 3-1 lead on a pair of kills by senior middle blocker Calista Lambert and an ace by sophomore outside hitter Madison Stanley. Kills by senior middle blocker Makenna Moser and senior defensive specialist Aylin Saucedo put Breckenridge up 19-15, but that was as close as they would come to victory. 

With the loss, as well as Tuesday’s loss to Brownwood, the Lady Buckaroos fell to 4-18, but none of that matters now as district play begins Saturday.

“Playing harder teams for the preseason gets us prepared for district and ready once the playoffs come,” Wilcox said. “We’ll start doing much better. We play up with the much harder teams so we play better against the teams that are not as good.”

Yarbrough was pleased with her team’s performance and feels their ability to make defensive adjustments on the fly while facing top-teer players like Castles is a sign of good things to come for the Lady Buckaroos.

“They were getting a hand on it,” Yarbrough said. “When it’s coming down that hard, you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. We talked about moving our defense up a little bit because everything she did. Her tips were right at the front of the block and all of her hits were in the front of the court ... She sees the floor so well and I was proud of the fact she had to tip a lot in the first game because it meant that our block was there.”

Stat leaders

Kills: Stanley 7, Lambert 5, Moser 3.

Aces: Stanley 3, McKenly Roberts 1, Kinley Kanady 1.

Digs: Wilcox 11, Roberts 7, Grace Nicklas 1.

Blocks: Stanley 2, Moser 1.

The Breckenridge American


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