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11/08/2005  Schulenburg eliminates Refugio  Volleyball

The Victoria Advocate -
Schulenburg eliminates Refugio

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Striking early, a young Schulenburg Lady Horns squad dispatched the veteran Refugio Lady Cats in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal volleyball match Monday at the Memorial senior campus gym.

Sophomores Avery Trojacek and Allison McNeal led a strong front row attack to pace the Shorthorns to a 25-17, 25-14, 13-25, 25-22 win over the Lady Cats for a return trip to the Region IV-2A Tournament.

The Lady Horns returned just three players from last year's squad, but the inexperience didn't show Monday night.

Trojacek pounded down nine kills with 12 digs, while Allison McNeal added six kills and six blocks to go with Brittany McNeal's 12 kills and Brianna Mendel's 14. Brittany McNeal and Mendel are two of the three returnees from last year.

"We only had three (players) back from our regional team last year so they've been learning as we go," Lady Horns coach Donald Zapalac said of his 29-9 squad. "And they're starting to hit their peak at the right time."

Schulenburg advances to Friday's regional semifinal where they will meet the Navarro-Stockdale winner at Blossom Athletic Center in San Antonio. Refugio ends the season at 33-7.

Schulenburg gained the momentum early and took advantage of a Refugio rotation error to capture Game 1.

Riding that momentum the Lady Horns controlled most of Game 2.

Brittany McNeal served up three straight aces for an 8-3 advantage and then Mendel followed with 10 straight service points.

Avery Trojacek began the run with a dink and a pair of kills, while Kristen Grahmann added another kill and a combo block with Allison McNeal for a 14-5 lead. Following another Avery Trojacek kill, Mendel served up two aces for a 19-5 advantage.

The Lady Horns put the game away on an ace by Brittany McNeal for a 2-0 lead in the match.

"It was important for us to get them down early," Zapalac said. "We knew they were a hard team to put away and they showed it."

Refugio found its range in Game 3 and took the net away from the Lady Horns behind the play of Meagan Markert, Christine Aduddell and Cassandra Durst.

Markert and Aduddell paced the Lady Cats with 16 kills each in the match. Durst added nine kills to go along with her 15 assists.

Bouncing back from the Game 3 loss, Schulenburg took the lead for good at 9-8 in Game four and eventually put the match away on a kill from Brittany McNeal that found the back middle of the court.