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McCollum coach Martinez wins 350th match

October 10, 2017 GMT

The trip to Eagle Pass is arduous for area teams, but returning on Oct. 6 seemed a lot shorter than normal to McCollum coach Rose Ann Martinez and her squad.

On the way back, Martinez checked her Twitter feed and learned that the 25-5, 25-15, 25-10 victory over Eagle Pass Winn (1-4 in district) that evening was the 350th in her coaching career.

Martinez is in her eighth season at McCollum and has guided her last three teams to district championships. She coached previously at South San and Holmes in her 17-year career.

“I didn’t even know until I saw it on Twitter,” Martinez said. “That was nice. It has been a journey. Some of the schools I’ve been at are not necessarily volleyball schools. Being here to get this milestone, it’s definitely an accomplishment.”

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The Cowboys (21-4, 5-0) also defeated Southside (17-16, 2-3) 25-20, 26-24, 25-14 Oct. 3 at McCollum. It was a match that neither coach was very pleased with.

“It was a shaky start, but we found a way to win,” Martinez said. “Fortunately, we were able to keep our composure.”

Southside led 9-3 in Game 1. In Game 2, the Cardinals were off to an 11-6 start and led as late as 23-22 on a kill from senior setter Allie Herrera (5 kills, 18 assists). Then McCollum rallied.

The Cardinals put their game back on track to win 25-11, 25-16, 24-26, 19-25, 15-12 Oct. 6 at Uvalde behind 22 kills from Mia Soto, coach Anna-Rosa Soto’s stepdaughter. Southside played without Herrera, whose back went out before the match.

“We had a lot of injuries five minutes before the game and during the match,” the Southside coach said. “It’s how we’re going to overcome these obstacles. We took a big hit when we lost Allie.”

After Herrera’s kill against McCollum, the Cowboys tied it 24-24 and won on one of Stephanie Garcia’s five aces. Soto said her team’s inexperience showed against the veteran Cowboys.

In Game 3, an early kill from Mia Soto and a block from Elizabeth Lowe (5 kills) helped Southside stay relatively close. McCollum closed out the match after a kill from senior Miranda Rich increased its lead to 19-13.

“We try to start strong and finish strong,” said Rich, who led McCollum with 11 kills. “We didn’t start strong, but we finished strong.”

Jefferson 3, Lanier 1

The Mustangs (13-13, 10-2) moved into second place with a pair of District 28-5A victories at the Alamo Convocation Center. Jefferson swept fourth-place Burbank(14-18, 8-4) 29-27, 25-19, 25-16 Oct. 3 and defeated Lanier (8-18, 4-7) 28-26, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17 Oct. 6.

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Jefferson remained a half-game behind Memorial (22-5, 10-1).

Against Burbank, Desirae Ceballos produced 38 digs and Madeline Lopez provided 19 assists. Skyla Morales added a team-best nine kills.

For the Bulldogs, Amethyst Godina (18 digs), Janell Molina (11 digs) and Jessica Molina (10 digs) were defensive leaders.

Fox Tech 3, Natalia 0

The Buffaloes (4-20, 2-7) defeated Natalia (0-6 in district) 26-24, 25-18, 25-17 in a District 26-3A match Oct. 6 at Fox Tech. Fox Tech won in five games against the Mustangs Sept. 8 in Natalia.

Kennedy Martinez led Fox Tech with five aces. Dallas Gonzalez recorded five kills and Sariah Leyvas dealt 12 assists.