Falcons pick up win before District 32-6A opener

LOS FRESNOS — The Falcons have not won a district title since 2019, but that could change this season.

Los Fresnos enters District 32-6A play on a six-game win streak after beating District 31-6A’s Edinburg North 3-1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-16 and 25-22) Saturday afternoon at Los Fresnos High School.

“We have definitely progressed as a team,” Los Fresnos head coach Anissa Lucio said with district beginning on Tuesday. “We had some tough competition, and a lot on the road, so we have definitely progressed as a team. Not only on the court, but off the court. I am really proud of our team and where we are at going into district.”

Los Fresnos Shiloh Jones (1) against Edinburg North on Saturday at Los Fresnos High School. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Monitor)

Setter/Hitter combination of Jenna Rios and Shiloh Jones were lethal throughout the match, and are one of the best combos in the area.

“I think now we are getting to that point where we are ready to peak and show out for district,” Jones said after the match.

Edinburg North came into Saturday on a four-match win streak against District 32-6A with sweeps over Brownsville Hanna, Brownsville Rivera and San Benito. The Cougars had an eight-match win streak and had already swept Harlingen High earlier in the season.

Edinburg North’s Etsel Ramirez (8) against Los Fresnos on Saturday at Los Fresnos High School. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Monitor)

The Cougars almost had the Falcons after pulling out the contentious second set thanks to points from captains Etsel Ramirez and Maya Espinoza at the net.

Edinburg North’s Maya Espinoza (12) against Los Fresnos on Saturday at Los Fresnos High School. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Monitor)

The Falcons defense stepped up in third and after trailing early in the fourth set, Los Fresnos finished the match off fairly smoothly against a possible playoff opponent.

“We pulled through at the end,” Lucio said. “They are a smart team and very athletic team, so I was really proud of us finishing the way we did.”

Both Class 6A districts are six-teamed so they become familiar with each other due to the other Valley districts are in season. The common opponent equation is accurate at times, but the game still needs to be played.

The Falcons meet up with Brownsville Rivera at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at home in an early battle of district title favorites.

Los Fresnos Jenna Rio (2) against Edinburg North on Saturday at Los Fresnos High School. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Monitor)

“We are so excited for district,” Rios said. “We are really excited to play Rivera on Tuesday, it will be a good game.”

District 32-6A 

The Lower Valley and the district was hit hard with graduation in 2022. Top players from Harlingen High, Brownsville Rivera and Los Fresnos went on to the next level, or graduated.

This has created the opportunity for teams like Weslaco High, San Benito and Brownsville Hanna to challenge the hold that Los Fresnos, Brownsville Rivera and Harlingen High have had on the top three seeds.

The past three seasons Brownsville Rivera, Los Fresnos and Harlingen High have finished as the top three seeds in District 32-6A. Playoff spots have been scarce for everyone else.

Brownsville Rivera has one of the most well-rounded teams in the district. The Raiders have a good mixture of seniors and talented youth. Junior Melannie Garza is one of the best outside hitters in Brownsville.

San Benito has had impressive performances that stretch back to the summer. The Greyhounds are solid defensively and made the playoffs as the fourth seed in 2022.

Brownsville Hanna and San Benito meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hanna.

Harlingen High is the defending champions, but graduated nearly all starters, and or contributors. Middle hitter Alana Rouquette is a player to watch if the Cardinals can retain their title.

The Cardinals face Weslaco High at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Weslaco High. The Panthers are 13-14 so far this season.