DRIPPING SPRINGS — After Tivy’s volleyball players cruised to a four-set win over Austin LBJ at Dripping Springs High School, they circled around their coach Stephanie Coates to listen to her postgame address.
Coates encouraged the Lady Antlers (31-11) to enjoy Tuesday’s bi-district playoff victory, but also issued an admonition: They were going to have to play a lot better if they wanted to keep advancing in the Class 5A playoffs.
The Lady Antlers gave a business-like performance in their 25-15, 23-25, 25-14, 25-16 win over the Lady Jaguars. They slogged through the first two sets, committing passing errors and struggling to hit against LBJ’s tall blockers. They corrected both problems to dominate the final two sets, but Coates knows they will have to play better when they play No. 16 Alamo Heights in the area round. (Coates was still trying to set a time and location for the match at press time)
Sophomore Ally Scheidle posted her 12th triple-double this season, and showcased her athletic gifts in the process. She ran across the floor to set her teammates; she continually jumped above the net during attacks, finishing with 21 kills, 19 assists and and 17 digs. Junior Keirson Jalowy produced a double-double with 13 kills and a team-high 21 digs. Senior Paige Melcher contributed eight kills and a block while her senior cohort Savana Trahan added 11 kills and four aces.
“A win is a win. … You’re always happy for a win,” Coates said. “I’m not super happy there because we are capable of a lot more, and I explained to the kids that from here on out, we have to play with that intensity that we had (during our win) against Boerne Champion. … And they know that.
“LBJ does have size, though, and that’s something we worked on in practice, and I think we did really well with that. I think tonight the nerves got us.”
The pre-game jitters were understandable. Six players made their playoff debut on Tuesday. The playoff nerves affected the Lady Antlers the first two sets. They rolled during the final two, thanks to aggressive serving. Jalowy served six straight points to give Tivy a commanding 15-5 lead in the third set. Trahan helped the Lady Antlers seize control with eight consecutive serves in the fourth set, propelling them to a 16-6 lead.
“We always talk about winning the serve and the pass game,” Coates said. “The first two sets we weren’t winning the pass game. We weren’t serving aggressively, enough. We weren’t missing serves, but we weren’t serving them aggressively enough to challenge them at all. Through sets No. 3 and No. 4, we really started picking up our serving. … Our passing came along. That passing allows our setters to use multiple hitters and not for us to be so predictable.”
They will have to continue to pass and serve at a high level when they renew their rivalry with Alamo Heights next round.
“We’re really excited,” Scheidle said. “I think we will go far this year.”