JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — The Burnet High School volleyball team showed why its been a playoff contender the past few years in its season-opening sweep of Marble Falls on Aug. 11.
During the first set, a 25-20 win, Burnet (1-0) reeled off several points in a row to build a 20-13 lead. But in the loss, the Lady Mustangs (0-1) showed some of the fight and determination for which new head coach Casey Schubert was looking with a willingness to play for every point and perseverance to keep on no matter what the scoreboard read.
“Defensively, we were flying around,” Schubert said. “I saw mental confidence. They have to believe in themselves and know their hard work will pay off.”
The Lady Dawgs flexed their muscles in the second set. Led by the serving of senior Jill Rosow, Burnet took an 18-6 advantage on the way to a 25-11 victory.
The solid serving and consistent play continued for the Lady Dawgs as they closed out the match with a 25-15 win.
Even during those sets, the Lady Mustangs had some digs to force rallies. At times, they won the point.
Schubert said her players have spent a lot of time working on the mental toughness to outlast opponents in a physical way.
“The crazy hours we’re spending on that track are paying off,” she said regarding the Leonel Manzano Track at Mustang Stadium. “They’ve bought into the fact we’ll have them in decent shape.”
Fundamentally, the coach said there’s still work to do beginning with passing, which starts the offense.
The Lady Dawgs took a business-as-usual approach to the match. There was little reaction after each point, which illustrates the steadiness of the squad. Burnet entered the match after winning all five of its scrimmages at Glen Rose and Gatesville on Aug. 7-8.
“Every time they touch the ball it’s with a purpose,” head coach Salye Coles said about her Lady Dawgs. “All of them are very smart kids, very intellectually smart and grounded with ideals and morals.”
“I think for us it’s a matter of playing from beginning to end as hard as we can,” Burnet’s Rosow said.
And it showed. No matter the result of each rally, the Lady Dawgs made sure to congratulate each other when the point was theirs or pick up a teammate who committed an error.
And just as Coles said, the Lady Dawgs took the win in stride, understanding it’s only the first match of the season and many more are coming that are important.
Despite the outcome, Schubert said there’s always a benefit to facing Burnet.
“It’s always fun when you go up against your rival,” she said. “I feel like (my players) have bought into it. I can see most of them are trying to change some bad habits.”
Both teams will travel to Wimberley to play in the Tex-Fest Tournament on Aug. 14-15. The tournament will be played at Wimberley High School, 100 Carney Lane, and at Danforth Junior High School, 200 Texan Blvd.