The Louise Lady Hornets are closing the book on non-district play. Louise will now look towards district play in which they hope they’ll make a return to the playoffs after just missing out last season. The Lady Hornets finished tied with the Flatonia Lady Bulldogs but lost out on the chance to move on to the playoffs after a five-set loss.
“I think this year we have a little bit more experience,” Lady Hornets Coach Salvador Hernandez Sr. said. “Yes we do have more freshmen, but if I look at all of our offense and hitters, they are players with experience. It feels like our serving is getting a lot better.”
The Lady Hornets experienced some growing throughout non-district. While they had six returners, the rest of the squad was filled with underclassmen. In tournaments, the youth and depth caused them to struggle, however, when they played regular games, they thrived with wins over Bloomington, Ganado and Hitchcock, all the 3A schools.
“We have a lot of freshmen on our team,” senior Madison Delossantos said. “They started off, not on the same level as us but they’re getting there. They’ve improved a lot since Aug 1.”
The Lady Hornets have been without sophomore Margarita Olvera who’s been out with an injury. Olvera is the Lady Hornets biggest blocker and still, they’ve managed to pick up a win against Hitchcock last Friday in four sets in their last tuneup before district. Olvera is expected back soon.
Hernandez cited the girls’ growth as a team to help them get past Hitchcock. The Lady Hornets during the game worked out a new formation and Hernandez let them decide which one they felt was working for them.
“I want to give them more tools to use offensively,” Hernadez said. “I want them to pick which ones they feel more comfortable playing.”
Louise in their 2A district will play Weimar, Brazos, Shiner and Flatonia. Brazos, Weimar and Shiner all went to the area round of the playoffs last season.
“A lot of different schools lost a couple of seniors,” Hernandez said. “Brazos lost a lot of seniors, so they’re rebuilding. Weimar still has the same team as last year. Shiner’s rebuilding, they have a couple fo their good hitters and setter who graduated. So it’s giving us a chance to compete with them.”
In the past three years, the Lady Hornets have been to the playoffs twice, but haven’t made it past the first round since 2011 when they made it to the 1A regional semi final.