Locked In: Lady Hawks sweep Lady Cards, clinch playoff spot

HARLINGEN — Harlingen South is heading back to the volleyball playoffs for a second straight season.

The Lady Hawks completed the season sweep over crosstown rival Harlingen High 25-13, 25-16, 25-21 on Tuesday night at Harlingen South.

The Lady Hawks received a strong performance from senior Mikela Mireles, who finished with a game-high 17 kills and added three aces and 10 digs. Fellow senior Mya Aguirre finished with 10 kills, 13 assists and 18 digs.

The senior duo has been a mainstay for the Lady Hawks during the past few seasons, and now the two are heading back to the playoffs one final time.

“My first two years we weren’t able to beat Harlingen, but we were able to beat them both times my junior and senior year,” Mireles said. “This was one of the more bigger games I wanted to win because of how big the rivalry is. It feels amazing knowing that we are able to clinch a playoff spot early rather than wait around like we did last year and having to win our last game to make it. It takes a lot of pressure off of us. We can go into next week and just play our game.”

Harlingen South is 6-3 and can still claim the second seed in the district depending on how Brownsville Rivera does during its final two games.

Last year, the Lady Hawks got hot at the right time and won their final match against Brownsville Hanna to clinch a playoff spot. They eventually won a playoff series against Edinburg High.

One year later, South coach Anissa Lucio feels the Lady Hawks are right where they need to be and have the momentum they need to make another playoff push.

“I do feel we are, we had a big win against Rivera on Saturday and they are a tough team, and Harlingen is a tough team,” Lucio said. “I think we are making good improvements right now, and we will take that into the playoffs.”

Harlingen South played flawless through the first two sets and picked apart the Lady Cardinals’ defense thanks to Mireles and Aguirre. Evelyn Yanez finished with a game-high 27 digs, and Zoe Garcia checked in 19 digs in the win.

Harlingen High falls to 3-6 with the loss, but the Lady Cards are still in the mix for the playoffs. Harlingen High remains in a tie with Hanna at 3-6 heading into the final game of the regular season.

The Lady Cardinals can clinch a playoff berth next Tuesday with a win over Rivera and a Hanna loss against South. If both Hanna and Harlingen High end up with the same record, there will be a play-in match for the final playoff spot in 32-6A.

“We know we have Rivera on our home court, and hopefully that will give the girls some fire,” Harlingen High coach Joslynn Torres said. “It could be their final home game. I’m hoping that the off time will help us, but I will get them prepared. It is just a matter of who will show up.”

Harlingen High’s Alexandria Ramirez finished with a team-high 13 kills and two blocks. Juli Bryant added 11 kills and seven blocks, Callie Cervantes had six kills and 34 digs, and Elena Aguinaga had 20 assists.