BROWNSVILLE — Brownsville Pace’s Andie Lozano-Lomeli was mobbed for pictures after the Vikings picked up another District 32-5A sweep Saturday afternoon.
It was the Brownsville Lopez junior-varsity players taking pictures with Pace’s fantastic middle hitter/blocker, they had asked her between sets as they cheered for their varsity team during the Vikings’ 25-11, 25-23 and 25-23 sweep.
Lozano-Lomeli provided a packed crowd at Pace’s “House of Pain” with her normal thunderous kills. Her most important kill won them the pivotal second set.
Lozano-Lomeli was rotated out when Brownsville Lopez’s Jenny Shank willed the Lobos back into the match. Shank, one of the metro-area’s best softball players, picked up the ball to serve with the Lobos trailing 20-12.
Shank’s serves were precise and after picking up three-straight aces she picked up two kills to cut the Vikings lead to 20-19, but with Lozano-Lomeli still on the bench the Vikings defense stepped up and freshman Sophia Saiz continued to impress with powerful kills to put the Vikings up 24-23.
Lozano-Lomeli rotated back in and was set up by Saiz for the set-winning kill.
The senior middle hitter/blocker said it was frustrating when having to watch from the sideline during an opposing team’s come back.
“I want to go in, but I have a lot of faith in my girls to get it done,” she added. “I just think they need to higher their morale and keep going.”
Lozano-Lomeli was fine on the bench for the first set. The Vikings built a strong lead in the 25-11 win behind a strong defensive showing lead by Bryanna Narvaez.
Saiz, stepped up in the second and finished off the Lobos with a kill in the third set. The freshman said it is nice to be able to contribute this early in her Vikings career.
“I feel like I am already part of the team, even though I am a freshman,” Saiz. “It feels good.”
Brownsville Pace (19-3, 5-0) is ranked No.12 in Class 5A in the current Texas Girls Coaches Association State Volleyball Poll and still have not dropped a set in District 32-5A. The Vikings faces Donna High at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Donna their next game.
Brownsville Lopez has dropped two straight matches after starting 3-0. The Lobos host Edcouch-Elsa at 7 p.m. Tuesday.