Brownsville Veterans finishes unbeaten district run against E-E

By EDWARD SEVERN, Special to

BROWNSVILLE — It was a celebratory atmosphere Tuesday night at Brownsville Veterans Memorial as the district champion Lady Chargers looked to close out 32-5A play undefeated.

Edcouch-Elsa was ready to play spoiler. Its fans traveled well, creating a fantastic atmosphere inside Brownsville Veterans’ gymnasium. The Lady Chargers were not to be denied, defeating the Lady ’Jackets in four sets, 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22.

The Lady Chargers got to work quickly during the first set. Gracie Avila, Carrington Lane and Gladis Espinoza helped them take a 14-8 lead. The Lady ’Jackets’ all-around star, Vida Ybarra, led a comeback as they closed the lead to 16-14. Katherine Fourt was involved all night, and Brownsville Veterans fought off another comeback to take the set 25-19.

The Lady ’Jackets again found themselves down in the second set, 10-4, and again came back, forcing the Lady Chargers to play their best. E-E got within a single point at 23-22, but a couple of mistakes gave Brownsville Veterans the set.

The Lady Chargers looked to have put the Lady ’Jackets away in the third set. The crowd was quieted when Brownsville Veterans took a 12-5 lead, but again E-E fought back. This time, the Lady ’Jackets took the set 25-21, with some big hits from Ybarra sending the E-E crowd into a frenzy.

The Lady ‘Jackets carried that momentum into the fourth set as they took a 8-4 lead, but the day belonged to the district champions. The fourth set was as contentious as the others, back and forth, with great hustle from both sides. The Lady Chargers won the set 25-22 when Fourt smashed the winner off a Lady ‘Jackets player.

Throughout the match, the Lady ’Jackets put their bodies on the line defensively, pulling off miraculous digs. Their defense was fantastic, and at times forced Brownsville Veterans mistakes by being able to rally.

“They are a phenomenal defensive team,” Brownsville Veterans Memorial coach Elizabeth Mares said. “This was a great game. I am glad we won and were able to finish off district undefeated in front of our fans.

“Before the season we set our goals. Let’s come together as a team, let’s win district, and we were able to accomplish our goals, but we still got some more work to do.”

The Lady Chargers then began their well-deserved celebration with their fans to cap off a great season.

“The last few games we had to play our toughest opponents in district,” Mares said. “It was good for the girls to play against great teams and be in situations where we struggled at times for the playoffs. We are ready and hopeful for a good run.”