BULVERDE – Before San Antonio Clark took the floor for its third round volleyball match against New Braunfels Canyon on Tuesday night, coach Melissa Miller said she was going to induce labor on Wednesday morning for her second son. The team could have bought her diapers or formula or a bonnet or toys. Instead, the team gave her what every expecting coach wants: a playoff win.
Below: Ashley Hu and Taylor McDonough spoke about the victory.
Clark took the unusual path of having set points in every set, and held off Canyon to advance to round four (25-20, 25-27, 25-27, 25-13, 15-13) before a packed house at Smithson Valley. It advanced to the fourth round for the first time since 2014, when it lost in the quarterfinals to Churchill. It was also payback after Canyon (36-12) defeated Clark in a pre-district tournament, one of only three teams to beat them this year.
The NISD Cougars were two points short of sweeping the Comal ISD Cougars. Gracie Gibson’s 11th kill of the match ended the two-hour instant classic. Elise and Kara McGhee combined for 32 kills.
After winning set one, Clark was in a position to go up 2-0 with a set point, but a block attempt went out of bounds. Tied at 25, Angel Jones had a successful kill to give Canyon a set point, and that was successful, as another Clark block attempt went off the pole to tie the match at one.
In set three, Clark raced out to a 13-7 lead, and had two set points, but again Canyon came back. A Kylie Trefflich kill gave it the set, and a 2-1 lead.
But, Clark (45-3) turned it on in the fourth, using a 9-2 run to grab a 12-6 lead, and extended it the rest of the set. Three straight kills, two by Madison Cuellar and Shadee Briggs, ended the set, and extended the match to the limit.
Clark scored the first three points of the final set, and led the whole way. Canyon got as close as a single point several times in the set, but never could tie it up. Ashley Hu’s kill made it 12-10. After a Canyon point, Micayla Reiland’s perfect kill set up Clark with a double match point. Canyon saved the first, its fourth saved set point of the match. But, Gibson’s kill ended the match and Canyon’s season.
Next up for the team is a fourth round match with Laredo United, while district mate O’Connor faces McAllen Memorial. Both matches are Friday at the Alamo Convocation Center.
But for Miller, next up is a planned induced labor on Wednesday morning with her husband, Marion football coach Ryne Miller.