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WESLACO Whenever people watch a cartoon fight, there’s usually a cloud of dust with arms and legs sticking out as the two competitors tumble.

Inevitably, the dust settles and the viewer finds the winner. The Mercedes Tigers outlasted a tough Weslaco East team on Tuesday in four sets 25-19, 26-28, 25-22, 25-20 to push their record to 5-1.

“This was just a tough game it was a scrappy game, but I told them that they needed to fight, they needed to hang in there and trust each other,” Mercedes coach Olga Adame said.

The teams came out swinging during the first game and traded serves, neither team gaining an edge. The Tigers took the lead at 9-8 behind the serve of senior Leah Adame, and it was an edge they did not relinquish.

Mercedes libero Alexandra Gomez digs the ball during a match against Weslaco East on Tiesday, Sept. 12, 2023 at Weslaco East High School (Andrew Cordero / Special to

Sophomore Isabella Parker terrorized the Wildcats at the net with forceful rejections and key blocks. Parker consistently caused her opponents to change their shot trajectory as she held fast at the net.

The Tigers received major contributions from Jackie Bibian and Hayden Ledesma throughout the night. Bibian was a force from the outside, and Ledesma patrolled the net and offered her own thunderous kills.

Ultimately, Parker’s major rejection at 21-17 sealed the first set.

The Wildcats kept calm. They noticeably held their huddle just a little longer before the second set and quietly walked out with a certain confidence. They went out to a early 5-1 lead, unfazed by the first set.

Michaela Peralez provided offense from the service, offering her own thunder from the outside. The teams traded haymakers in a highly contested set, neither gaining more than a few points advantage. Tied at 24, the teams traded service errors, and neither team relented. Ultimately, East landed the deciding blow in the second.

During the next two sets, Mercedes found Adame efficiently and often. Precise setting and timely dump shots kept the Wildcats busy. Again, much like the first, Parker held tough at the net, rejecting and sending back all the Wildcats’ attempts. It was a well-fought match that proved to be close enough to go either way.

“It was a well-fought game on both ends we knew it was going to be a toe-to-toe, point-for-point-type game, and I think both teams did an amazing job of showing that we’re both capable of amazing things,” Weslaco East coach Zonya Gorena said.