By JUAN ESTEVE
Special to the NEWS
The San Benito High School Varsity Lady ’Hounds opened-up their 2019 campaign in a non-conference game against the Elsa-EdCouch Yellow-Jackets with a loss three-set to nil, where the partial scores were: 25-18, 25-22, and 25-17. The ‘Hounds girls, who were ranked 754 at the state-level last season, were eager to begin this 2019 season with a winning mindset and prove to their fans that they are ready for a potential playoff contention.
The Lady ’Hounds, coached by Rubi Medina, entered the game with a tremendous determination: in the early going, they wanted to give a different image from last season’s performance, were they went 1-7. Things started strong for the Hounds in the first set, number seven Cidney Castillo led the Lady ’Hounds with four kills, also the assisting crowd could see one of their favorites, Libero Hailey Rodriguez, saving plays at the defensive side of the ball alongside Zoey Betancourt, who had three blocks in the first set.
Despite the fact that the final score indicates that San Benito was beaten, the girls of San Benito High fought hard in each point of every set. Starting in the second set, Coach Medina called for a time out to think things through, which helped as a confidence booster for the ’Hounds: their attitude and effort improved enough to score their best set of the match with a second-partial loss by three points (25-22). In that second set, the team leaders for the ’Hounds were Zoey Betancourt, who had three kills and two blocks; her teammate Yahira Perez contributed to the effort for the home team with two kills and a block. On the defensive side of the ball Hailey Rodriguez had 20 digs.
For the ’Hounds this was a tough loss against the Yellow-jackets, a team that came ready to play and showed it since their first set where they took and early advantage 13-10. And some of their playmakers like attacker Endiya Devoe and Sara Sambudillo were making plays for the Jackets’ that left the assisting crowd speechless.
Furthermore, the Lady ’Hounds found themselves battling and coming from behind most of the time. Again in the third-set, where the visitors (Jackets) took an advantage 9-15 then took over from there, San Benito tried to recover by making a more competitive and equal game. In that third set the leaders for the Lady ’Hounds were Zoey Betancourt, who accumulated a total of 12 kills overall in the match and Cidney Castillo with 8 kills, but that could not erase the loss in their record. Now, the Hounds put their record at 1-1 for the year, and they will be hosting the McAllen High Bulldogs on Tuesday, September 10 at at the San Benito Varsity Gym.