AXTELL – Fans of the Frost Lady Polar Bears filled the stands of the Axtell High School gym Thursday night. They cheered and pepped up their team playing in a 2A Region II Area playoff and consoled them after Frost lost to Rosebud-Lott 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-11).
“I was glad to see the fans really support us. Frost also had a junior high football game earlier tonight, but the fans really supported us,” noted coach Elaine Woods as she hugged players, parents, and fans after the game.
Throughout the match, both teams volleyed often and kept plays alive by contorting themselves for a dig or return. “We never quit.”, coach Woods noted about her Lady Bears, “We hustled.”
In the first set, Frost fell behind 12-6 before tying the score at 13-13. For the tying point, Lexi Banks drilled a spike from front left to the shoes of Lady Cougar’s Erakah Easley playing center front.
While Frost couldn’t break the tie for a lead, the Lady Bears battled closely. They pulled within two at 17-15 when Kinsley Fuller, from front center, killed a ball just across the net. Nevertheless, Rosebud-Lott pulled away 25-19.
Throughout the match, the Lady Cougars’ front line of Easley, Emma Hering, and Clara Coker presented challenges to the Lady Bears with blocks and powerful smash returns. Woods said after the match, “Let’s give credit where credit is due, coach Amanda Spencer is a good coach. Her team is fundamentally sound.”
In the second set, Frost and Rosebud-Lott were tied at 5-5, 10-10, and 11-11 before the Lady Cougars pulled away. Down 10-7, Fuller nailed a kill from left front into the middle of the Rosebud-Lott defense. Emily De La Hoya followed with an ace serve. On the next serve, Hering’s return sailed into the net.
Frost built a 4-0 lead to begin the third set. Rosebud-Lott tied the score 5-5 after a shanked return attempt sent Lady Bears senior captains, Sydney Woods and Fuller, along with sophomore Kyra Cerda to the gym’s back wall for a return hit to no avail.
Thus, it was that kind of night for Frost. Lots of grit and hustle, but to no avail. Though a playoff loss stings, Woods was proud of her team, “We hustled, she said. "They talked to each other. My senior captains, Sydney and Kinsley, kept talking positively to the younger players and that helped them keep hustling and fighting.”
During the match, Banks nailed 10 kills and had a dig. Cerda smashed 10 kills, served three aces, and had an assist. Fuller collected seven kills, a block, and an ace.
Madeline Lee had three kills and a block. Sydney Woods had three kills, two digs, an ace, and 28 assists. De La Hoya recorded a kill, two assists, and a dig. Maddy Whitley had a dig and an ace, and Jaden Jenkins served two aces.