By JASON GORDON
The Hays High volleyball had an impressive run at home, finishing second as host of the Rebel Bash.
In between playing host in their own tournament Thursday and Saturday, the Lady Rebs beat Seguin in their District 27-4A opener Friday at Bales Gym. Hays followed that with a win over Kerrville Tivy Tuesday night at home in district action.
“I was very proud of the way our team responded this weekend,” Hays head coach Erica Walther said. “We’ve fought through some injuries this season, but this is a very important time for our team to start playing well. I think we played our some of our best volleyball of the season during the three-day stretch in the Rebel Bash and against Seguin. I hope we can build off this and continue to improve. I thought we played another solid match against Tivy.”
Hays, which has played many Class 5A foes during non-district action, saw its overall record climb to 17-13. The Rebels also moved up to No. 20 in the recent Class 4A statewide volleyball poll.
Against Tivy Tuesday night, Sydney Paradeaux unleashed her power on the defenseless Lady Antlers with 31 kills to lead the Lady Rebs to a 25-10, 25-16, 17-25, 25-12 win. The talented junior also had 15 digs. Kathryn Wristen added 43 assists, and Natalie Valdez and Hannah Ramsey had nine and seven kills respectively for Hays against Tivy.
During pool play at the Rebel Bash last Thursday, Hays had three straight easy wins over Hyde Park (25-8, 25-11), Austin Reagan (25-7, 25-5) and Bastrop (25-13, 25-8).
Sydney Paradeaux and Kara Conn led Hays with four kills each against Hyde Park and Courtney Rogers had seven digs. Paradeaux nailed six kills against Reagan and Kathryn Wristen added 10 assists. Against Bastrop, Paradeaux had 11 kills and Hannah Ramsey and Valdez added six kills apiece.
In Saturday’s Gold Bracket action at the Rebel Bash, Hays first beat perennial Class 2A state power Poth 25-19, 25-16. Paradeaux had 11 kills, Wristen had 16 assists, and Ramsey and Paradeaux added 10 digs each to lead the defensive attack.
The Lady Rebs finally lost a set in the tournament semifinals against Cedar Ridge, but came back to win 20-25, 25-16, 25-11 paced by Paradeaux’s 12 kills and 10 digs to advance to the finals against Hendrickson.
Hays finally met its match in the Rebel Bash against Hendrickson, losing 25-19, 25-21.
Paradeaux and Ramsey were named to the All-Tournament team for the Lady Rebs.
Hendrickson standout Blaine Koester was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Against Seguin Friday night in Hays’ district opener, the Lady Rebs swept the Lady Matadors 25-13, 25-17. 25-22.
Paradeaux (15 kills) and Valdez (11 kills) paced the Hays attack, while Wristen guided the offense around the court with 27 assists. Paradeaux added 13 digs while Dezaray Garner also had 10 digs for the Lady Rebs.
“It would have been very easy for a team that played as many matches as we did during three days to get worn out, but I think we really grew a lot this weekend,” Walther said. “A lot of our girls stepped up when we needed them to.”
Hays plays at new 27-4A foe Boerne Champion Friday in a match scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Hays beat Champion, which is currently the No. 2-ranked team in the state in Class 4A, in the bi-district round of the playoffs last year.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how our team meets the challenge of facing a talented district team like Champion on the road Friday night,” Walther said.