Lady Pirates fall to Stacey, will face Brackett in playoffs

Center Point's Page Ponce attempts a dig Friday night at Pirate Gym against Lackland Stacey.

CENTER POINT – There was bad news and good news for the Lady Pirates at the end of their District 29-2A volleyball contest against Lackland Stacey on Friday at Pirates Gym.

The bad news came in the fact that Center Point lost to the Eagles in regular season action and finished district play 6-6 after being swept both times this season by Stacey.

The good news is, however, that the Lady Pirates will continue forward into postseason despite their four set drop 20-25, 25-15, 21-25, 18-25. As District 29-2A’s fourth place team, Center Point is poised to face Brackett in bi-district playoff action on Monday, Nov. 4 in D’Hanis at 7 p.m.

“Hopefully we’ll rise to the occasion,” said Center Point head coach Caitlin Whittle. “If we play like we’re capable of, and we do play well, we can win,” said Whittle.

Center Point owns an early season win over Brackett, but definitely will need to spark against the Tigers. This year’s playoff trip is the fifth such at the school and fourth straight under Whittle.

Center Point showed some juice in its second set win over Stacey after almost coming from way back to take the first set. But even with their gritty second set performance the Lady Pirates proved too helpful to the Eagles.

Center Point gave up 14 points in the first set through a combination of hitting and service errors, overcame nine in the second set, were responsible for nine more in the third and 19 in the deciding fourth set. Stacey also laid down seven aces and 22 kills ,while Center Point’s usual way of lately downing opponents was absent. In fact, the Lady Pirates found themselves behind early in every set.

The Lady Pirates had won three of four matches prior to hosting Stacey, including battling district champion Harper tooth and nail before losing in four sets just two matches prior to playing the Eagles.

In the first set, Center Point was down 21-11 before freshman Iris Lozano jazzed things with five service points, including an ace, that closed Stacey’s margin to 21-16. Kiersten Adams helped eke closer at 22-20 before the Eagles broke serve and wound up taking the final two points of the match. Lozano topped the team with five aces.

Lexi Mills had her five consecutive service points in set two that allowed Center Point’s 6-9 deficit to grow into an 11-9 lead. Eventually Lozano came back around in the rotation and served up Center Point to a 21-13 advantage. Mills ended the match with two kills and competition looked promising for the Lady Pirates with sets stalemated at two each. Mills had eight kills for Center Point.

Third set action was tied on seven occasions and Center Point held its final lead 20-19 when Maegan Monje blocked a ball over the net before Stacey broke serve and aced a pair of serves that were a big reason for the Eagles’ own comeback. Monje and Mills each had one block and Lozano was in on two.

Five service errors alone doomed Center Point in set four and now the Lady Pirates will have to content themselves with the fourth seed from district. Stacey wound up third behind second place Junction, which trailed the leading Longhorns at the end of regular play.

Homecourt enders

Friday’s was not only the final home court contest of 2019, but also the final-ever time four Center Point seniors found themselves taking the floor at Pirates Gym for a volleyball match.

Mills, Monje, Jaylin Haughie and Kammi Skeen were honored by friends, family, teammates and coaches before squaring off with Stacey.

Mills is a four year player and the others are winding up year three years as varsity players

According to statistics provided by Whittle the quartet has an impressive array of career accomplishments thus far.

Mills has 790 kills, 187 aces, 341 digs and 117 blocks. Monje has recorded 300 kills, 50 aces, 200 digs and 40 blocks. Haughie is noted for 670 digs and 100 aces. Skeen has 500 career kills, 80 blocks and 125 digs.

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