By: Libby Sanchez
It is no secret that the volleyball team this year dominated their whole season, then continued to dominate in playoffs all the way to round 4. After finishing first in district with a 12-0 record, the Lady Eagles were ready to play their hearts out in whatever came their way in playoffs. Round one took place on October 31st, leading many people to skip the holiday of Halloween to watch the girls succeed and advance. For round one of playoffs they were up against Orange Grove, who placed fourth in their district with a 7-5 record. Our girls started off strong in the first set, taking the win 25-14. Working hard the second set, they took it 25-19. With one more set to advance to round two, our girls were determined and took the final third set 25-17. It was astonishing to see the girls do what they do best and take this team in only three sets, their hardwork was paying off. Round two took place on November 4th against Bishop, who placed third in their district with a 7-4 record. The first set started off rocky for the Lady Eagles when they fell short to Bishop 25-19 in the first set. But our girls refused to back down without a fight, and used losing the first set as a wake up call. They came back and won the next three sets 25-13, 25-19, and 25-12. They had the gym packed with green and spirit as they celebrated their advancement to round three. The next round took place on November 8th against Calhoun, who placed 1st in their district, much like us, with a 11-1 record. Our girls were buzzing with the anticipation of only being three games away from state. Much like the previous round, our girls deterred in the first set and fell short 25-22. These girls worked so hard all season, and they had the gym loaded with their biggest supporters, and they were not losing. The next sets came fast, with many good saves and kills from our girls. Our girls claimed the next three sets with scores of 25-21, 25-17, and 25-22. And if Coach Aguirre happened to get a red card between the chaos, well nobody is gonna speak of that, we defend our favorite grumpy grandpa. The sight of The Lady Eagles falling to the floor in sheer excitement for winning is a sight nobody will forget. There is no team that deserved it more! The next three days here at PHS, everyone was buzzing and on their toes thinking about round four. Our girls were only two games away from state, and many believed that’s the direction they were headed. Round four took place against Bellville, who placed first in their district, with a record of 12-0, exactly like ours. We knew if anything, this was going to be the girls toughest match yet. Blossom Athletic Center was packed to the brim with Pleasanton fans, many students getting signed out earlier in the school day to go support their classmates. Nerves were clear, but so was our spirit as the crowds cheered for our girls. Falling short in the first set 25-22 wasn’t something we wanted, but hopes were still high as we knew our girls were common to make excellent comebacks. We were right, as our girls came back the second set 25-17, setting us to tie at 1-1. The third set took us by surprise when Bellville stepped up their game and took the third set 25-12. Now down 2-1 in round four of playoffs, two games away from state, the pressure on our girls was high. In the fourth and final set, after our girls gave it their absolute best, we fell short 26-24 to Bellville.
It’s hard to watch it all come to an end in just a few minutes, but the 2022-2023 Lady Eagles Volleyball team is definitely one to be remembered. They advanced farther than they had in a long time, and many students and parents are going to miss watching this group of girls play together as seniors graduate. Though, for two of our graduating seniors, they will be advancing and continuing to play the sport of volleyball at a D1 level. Huge congratulations to Sadie McAda who is committed to Southern Mississippi University for both Volleyball and Beach Volleyball, and Victoria Urbanzyk who is committed to Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Another difficult goodbye for the volleyball program this year is none other than Coach Aguirre himself. The man known to be yelling on the sidelines, but all out of the goodness of his heart as he coached the sport he loved. He’s taught these girls so much throughout his years, and we are sad to see our favorite grumpy grandpa leave. Though his absence will leave a hit on the program, we are excited to see the program’s future in the hands of Coach Bunch. Someone who was trained under Coach Aguirre, and someone with such a big heart for the sport. There are no doubts she will continue to lead this program in the right direction, and we wish her absolute success. We wish all coaches and players the best of luck next year, and to the graduating seniors of The Lady Eagles Volleyball team, we wish y’all the greatest with your future endeavors!