CLUTE — With the backing of an energetic Brazoswood Buccaneer fan base, the Lady Bucs withstood every challenge the visiting Fort Bend Lady Knights dished out on the volleyball court on Tuesday in a 27-25, 25-18, 25-22 sweep at the Performance Gym.
The victory ups Brazoswood’s record to 16-7 on the season.
“They are feeding off our success, and it really helps bring out these players,” Brazoswood interim coach Brian Soistman said of the fan base being so boisterous. “Student council will also be coming out where they will have Hawaiian shirt night, so the crowd has been very supportive of us this season.”
On a night where rallies went well into the 20s at times, the Lady Bucs earned a majority of those points to keep them on the right path this season.
“I do believe that they are doing a lot of this for coach (Elizabeth) Limas,” Soistman said. “They know that coach Limas would be here if she could and are feeding off that. I am just putting in the right combinations, and I’ve been real lucky so far. Hopefully I can keep it up.”
Limas was injured in a motorcycle accident in mid-August during the first weekend of the season.
“Coach Limas, we know Sept. 9 might be the earliest she can come back,” Soistman said. “Hopefully that will be Sept. 9.”
There weren’t too many big leads for either team Tuesday as Brazoswood broke a 22-22 tie when the Lady Knights’ Jayla Brown served a point into her own net. A long return shot by Elkins’ Ashley Arnold gave the Lady Bucs a two-point advantage.
They put the match away when Brazoswood blocked Landemi Ogunlana at the net.
“That is the best thing that we have this year, the competition within the team,” Soistman said. “So if one player is not doing the job, we are going to put somebody else in. I can emphasize that we are playing smart ball this year, which is our focus. We are not going to bang the ball into blocks, we are going to cut around the blocks or tip around the blocks and push the ball in the back corners. So we are going to do a lot of things that we didn’t do in the past.”
That is exactly how the Bucs played against a very gritty Lady Knight team that had to make comebacks in a couple of sets.
Brazoswood came out smoking in the first set, taking an 11-6 lead with some big hits from junior Trinity Rieger, Lauren Beard and Abeni Roberson, who shot one off those blockers at the net during that run.
Elkins fought back and took a 17-16 lead after a kill by Ogunlana, but it didn’t last long as the Lady Bucs took back the lead, never to lose it again. But it wasn’t easy, as there were nine ties, many late in the match. With the match knotted at 25-all, Roberson used her blockers at the net to give the Lady Bucs a 26-25 advantage.
Then Emily Svoboda drilled an ace off the defense for a set lead.
“Defensively we are playing well, and it compliments our offense,” Soistman said “They are also getting faith in each other by playing their positions, and you can tell because they are pretty cohesive.”
The Lady Bucs took a 20-8 lead in the second set only to see the Lady Knights fight back and close within seven points.
Offensive leaders were Grace Nicholas and Beard with nine kills each, and Rieger pitched in six. Much of that would not have been generated without the help of setter, Madison Varga, who did a tremendous job of setting up her teammates.
Also playing a big match was libero Maddie Johnson, who came up with some big digs, especially during the long rallies.
Brazoswood will head to Fort Bend Dulles on Friday to continue nondistrict play.