LA JOYA — It looked like the win might slip through La Joya Palmview’s fingers after blowing a 2-0 lead, but the Lobos scored eight straight points during the fifth set to beat Mission Veterans Memorial on Tuesday night at La Joya Palmview High School.
The five-set win (25-20, 25-21, 24-26, 23-25, 15-7) sets up an intriguing matchup with Roma at 1 p.m. Saturday at Roma.
Lobos head coach Margo Iglesias-Cantu said she has not beaten Mission Veterans in her seven years of coaching at Palmview. The Patriots won a district title in various districts every season since 2013.
“We were coming out here to beat them in three, because our goal is to win a district title,” Iglesias-Cantu said. “We do not care who is on the other side, it was a big win. The difference is we are working as a team, we are all together and we have that fire as a team.”
The Patriots and Lobos went back and forth — like they did all match — during the fifth set, but with the match tied at 7, the Lobos scored the last eight points to move to 4-0 in District 30-5A.
“I told them, it is now or never,” Iglesias-Cantu said. “Our goal since the very beginning is at the district title. I said, are you going to let that slip away now, or are you going to come back?”
Mission Veterans Memorial turned it around during the third and fourth sets thanks to consistent points at the net by Sophia Pacheco and great serving by Angela Perez and Chloe Rosillo. The Patriots grabbed momentum because of it heading into the fifth set.
La Joya Palmview won the first two sets with great defensive work and with points from around the net by Miley Zieske, Jeslynn Flores, Kylie Cantu and Arianna Alaniz.
“I think we communicated and worked to the very end,” Lobos libero Jessica Arevalo said. “The coaches make us run at practices, so that helps us not give up mentally. We were all tired, but we still fought until the very end.”
The Lobos trailed the second set by six points, 19-13, but Zieske and Alaniz came up big to win the set fairly comfortably like the first set.
Mission Veterans returns to action against Laredo Nixon at noon Saturday at home.