Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Pearce can't slow 50-0 march, falls short in 4A volleyball title match
SAN MARCOS, Texas — It was hard for the Austin Lake Travis volleyball team to do anything but smile in its 3-0 win over Richardson Pearce on Saturday in the Class 4A state final.
Win a point, smile.
Pearce calls a timeout, smile.
Lose a point, smile. Yes, even then, because Lake Travis (50-0) never lost control of the match from the first kill to the last.
Finally, complete an unbeaten state championship season, smile.
The Mustangs (36-14) did their best to contain the Lake Travis offense, which had a total of 37 kills from seven players.
Pearce coach Jason Nicholson said he couldn’t complain about his team’s defense and that it did everything it could to make the reigning state champion earn its points. The Mustangs knew what they were getting into: an opponent that achieved a perfect season and lost only one set this year.
“I wouldn’t say we were surprised,” Nicholson said. “I think our girls showed exceptional pride in what they were doing.”
Lake Travis won all three sets easily, 25-13, 25-16, 25-14, though Pearce did hang with the Cavaliers through most of the second.
But Pearce struggled, not only to get its attack past stellar Lake Travis blocking, but also with the fast-paced speed of the game, which Lake Travis seemed to control throughout.
For Lake Travis, the victory was the last time its seven seniors would be playing together, but for the much younger Pearce team, it was an achievement just to be there. With two freshmen in the starting lineup, Anya Bezprovanny and Brianne Burkert, and only three seniors graduating, Pearce can expect another strong team in 2012.
“We had a lot of youth on this team,” Pearce senior Shelby Sullivan said. “I knew it was going to be hard to get back here.”
Saturday was Sullivan’s last chance at a championship at Pearce. But for her coach and 12 of her teammates, there’s always next year.