Rebel volleyball tops Lehman in rivalry showdown

Hays High’s volleyball team kept its playoff hopes alive with a three-set sweep over the crosstown rival Lehman Lobos Friday at the Lobos Den.

The Rebels dominated the first set in a 25-7 win, then worked to claim the next two sets 25-16 and 25-12 over the Lobos.

“It was a pretty big win, it helped us with our district record,” said Hays senior setter Ryann Torres. “We’ve been kind of struggling throughout the season a little bit, but it was a good three-set match. Everybody played together, worked together, and I just felt very confident in my team tonight.”

As a team, the Rebels controlled the match by dominating Lehman in kills, aces and blocks. Hays had a 38-6 kill advantage over the Lobos, while also having 10 aces compared to Lehman’s two. Over the match Hays also had seven blocks to the Lobos’ three.

A key factor to Hays’ success on the court was strong communication and team play.

“I think we really worked together,” said Rebels junior outside hitter Maddie Krafka. “Coming together on the court is something really important for us. So we are just trying to get stronger in that point and keeping our communication up.”

Krafka and Torres led Hays with eight kills each, while Krafka also contributed two aces and Torres had two digs. Seniors Reagan Casey and Sydney Collins had big nights for the Rebels as well. Collins had seven kills over the three sets, with Casey adding six kills and four blocks.

The win over Lehman places Hays at 11-4 in District 25-6A. The Rebels are currently tied for fourth place with the Austin High Maroons. The Rebels trail Lake Travis (13-2), Westlake (13-2), and Bowie (10-3) in the standings, with just three games remaining in their regular season.

“I think we have good confidence, really good,” Krafka said about making the playoffs. “I think we all want it. We’ve never made it past the first round in playoffs, and that’s very important for us this year and that’s what we want to do.”

Hays’ three remaining games contained two home matches versus Anderson (1-10) and Westlake on Oct. 22 and 25, respectively, with their final match of district play on the road at Bowie on Oct. 29.

If the Rebels and Maroons, who split their season series 1-1, end up tied for fourth place at the end of the regular season, they will play in a winner-take-all elimination game to advance to the playoffs.

For Lehman, the loss was a result of their continued struggles throughout district play where they now currently stand at a 1-12 record, which is tied for last place. With only two games remaining, Lobos head coach Karen Young wants her team to play loose and have fun.

“Just play, and play hard and have fun.” Young said. “Stay in the game and compete. Just be in every game and see where the cards lay.”

The Lobos final home match takes place Oct. 29 versus Westlake at 6:30 p.m. 

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