BOERNE — Inside a hallway in Boerne Champion High School, seniors Savana Trahan and Paige Melcher embraced one last time.
Their Tivy volleyball careers haven’t always been easy. They have had three different coaches during their four years; they entered this season as the only two seniors on a roster filled with underclassmen. Still, they never complained about their situation. Instead, they became role models for the younger players, helping the Lady Antlers (31-12) finish second in District 26-5A and then guiding them to a berth in the area round. But on Thursday, they played the final match of their careers, as Tivy fell to a talented Alamo Heights’ squad in three sets (16-25, 19-25, 21-25).
After the match, first-year coach Stephanie Coates thanked the two seniors for their accomplishments this season. Several of their teammates also tearfully approached them to express their gratitude.
“The way they approached this season with a new coach coming in is what allowed us to have the success that we’ve had,” Coates said. “They bought in, set an example every day as far as work ethic went in practice. I feel like on the court they tried to shoulder a lot of responsibility, especially early in the season.
“Those two are amazing young ladies, and I am going to miss them. And I
think they set a good example.”
Both seniors battled in their final high school match. Trahan finished with a team-high 18 digs and two aces. Melcher finished with four kills and an ace. Sophomore Ally Scheidle earned her 13th triple double, registering 10 kills, 14 assists and 14 digs. Junior Keirson Jalowy supplied six kills and six digs.
The Mules (33-9), however controlled the net throughout the match. Heights built a 6-1 lead in the first set and cruised from there. The Lady Antlers jumped out to a 7-6 advantage in the next set, only to watch the Mules score the next six points to take control.
The Lady Antlers, however, continued fighting, swapping leads with Heights for much of the third set. But with a 17-15 lead, the Mules scored the next three points to pull away. The Lady Antlers tried to mount one last rally. Trahan delivered an ace to slice Heights’ lead to 23-20, and Scheidle hammered a kill to make it 24-21. But Heights’ middle blocker Faith Holzhausen finished the game with a kill. The Lady Antlers choked back tears as they exited the gym. They said throughout this season that they loved playing for Coates; it was clear on Thursday that it was hard for them to accept their season had ended.
“I am super proud of the kids and super proud of their effort,” Coates aid. “I thought they played really well. Obviously, we lost the Heights game at the net — the blocking game. We don’t necessarily have that in place right now.”
But there’s a good chance they will in the near future. Seven of the players in Tivy’s rotation this season were sophomores. Jalowy and junior setter Neva Henderson are only juniors.
And this year, Coates will have an entire off-season to help them continue to grow and develop.
“I told them that I totally love this team,” Coates said. “I have always been positive about this group.”