By Logan McCullough
The Hays Rebels defeated the Leander Lions 25-18, 25-22, 25-20 Tuesday night in Bales Gym.
Although the Rebels were able to win the match in straight sets, the match was highly competitive throughout.
“Hard fought game,” head coach Stephanie Coates said. “Those kids play with so much energy, we knew coming into tonight it was going to be a defensive battle.
In the first set, the Lions jumped out to an early lead while Hays appeared lackluster to start.
However, after finding themselves tied at 13, Hays found its rhythm, finishing the set on a 12-5 run.
The second set was more of the same with Leander coming out of the blocks strong and Hays trying to play catch up.
After finding themselves down five points early, Coates called a quick timeout. Hays answered the coach’s call with a 7-1 run to tie the game at 14.
“Anytime we come out of a timeout our goal is to push three points. That’s something we’ve practiced and practiced,” Coates said. “You want to drive the nail in.”
Leander kept it competitive, but the Rebels cleaned up their mistakes and were able to finish the game on a 5-2 run.
“We knew we were gonna have to work hard on our ball control ’cause they’re also a great serving team,” Coates said. “And that showed tonight with our ball control, our serving numbers were down tonight.”
By the third set Hays had found its groove. Leander was relentless in its effort, but Hays’ combination of size and power proved too much in the end.
“I think our outsides just swing with a little more power than what they got, but at the same time when they’re picking everything up, it keeps you on your toes,” Coates said.
Senior Hailee Morton led the Rebels’ attack and defense with nine kills and nine digs. Senior Ashley Slovak also recorded nine digs.
The Hays Rebels are back in action Friday night as they take on Lake Travis High at 6:30 in Bales Gym.