Lady Bucks playoff bound after Eastland win
EASTLAND— The Breckenridge High School volleyball team secured a playoff spot with its four-set (18-25, 25-18, 25-14 and 25-18) victory over Eastland Saturday and will need a little help Tuesday night for a chance to play for a district championship.
The Lady Buckaroos will face Jim Ned (7-21) Monday, at 6:30 p.m., inside Abilene High School, in the opening round of the 3A playoffs unless the Early Lady Longhorns can pull an upset over Comanche Tuesday night.
“We will play Jim Ned or Clyde, unless we end up with first place, If we win out against Dublin and Comanche was to get beat on Tuesday, then we would be in a tie for first place with Comanche,” Breckenridge coach Jeana Yarbrough said.
Following Tuesday’s five-set victory over Comanche, who currently owns the top spot in the 3A District 6 standings, the Lady Buckaroos needed a win over Eastland to build momentum heading into the post season. As has become customary for the Lady Bucks, they got off to slow start and quickly fell behind by a 7-point margin that the Lady Mavericks held until setting up match point 24-18.
“I talked to them after the first set and, I don’t know if it’s anything I said or a switch that just turn on, but I said ‘Eastland wants to win this game,’” Yarbrough said. “They came to win. They had all the hype. They had all the music. They came to win. I said, ‘Are y’all just happy to have our names on a playoff shirts and we’re done or do you want to have a shot at a piece of the title?’”
But as has also become customary for the Lady Bucks, they roared back in the second set. Breckenridge took advantage of Eastland’s aggressive hard hitting, gaining 8 points on errant shots. A push by sophomore middle blocker Calista Lambert set off a 5-0 run with Lambert ending the run and the game with a kill.
“We moved it around because [Eastland] had really good blocks,” sophomore outside hitter Madison Stanley said. “I will give them that, they had really good blocks, but our setters adjusted to it.”
Errant shots continued plaguing the Lady Mavericks in the third set, eventually giving the Lady Bucks a 19-12 lead. Kills by sophomore Madison Stanley, senior outside hitter Cameron Nicklas and senior middle blocker Makenna Moser kept the Lady Buckaroos comfortably ahead until a block by senior outside hitter Kelli Wilcox set up match point 24-18. The game ended on another errant shot, but Stanley said those errant shots were often the result of smart play of the Lady Bucks’ back line.
“We do that in the first set and we just wash it off,” Stanley said. “As my step-dad said ‘just dance.’ We just danced and fought our way through it. You have to think, is it coming at my face or is it coming at my feet? If it’s coming at your face you try to dodge it and hope it goes out. It’s a split second (decision).”
With the Bucks riding a four-game win streak, Stanley feels her team is ready for the post season.
“We have a bond that I have never had with any team I’ve been on. That is helping us on this streak.”
Editor's note: the story originally reported Munday High School as the location for the Bi-District playoff location. That location was changed sometime after press time.