“My practices consist of getting it done,” said Clemons. “I set goals for the girls. I push them to communicate and work as a team and they just have to reach those goals.”
Considering the Eagles’ muscular dismantling Tuesday night of La Joya Lady Coyotes 25-10, 25-17, 25-19, it would seem her girls have taken the philosophy to heart.
The Eagles jumped to early leads in all three games. Time and time again the Coyotes just couldn’t match up with the Eagles’ height at the net. Seniors Ruth Ruiz, Mayra Garcia and Gaby Martinez posed an almost impenetrable wall above the net that frustrated even crafty killer Lauren Moreno.
“This year’s strength is my height at the net,” said Clemons. I have not had that height at the net in a while. Come from coaching a JV team, we had to be smart players and plan who is going to be blocking. I now have the luxury of choosing who gets to play in the middle and who gets to play on the outside.”
Senior co-captain Gaby Martinez seemed like she would be just fine playing the middle all by herself. Martinez finished the match with 13 kills, 3 blocks, 9 points and 2 aces. Complementing Martinez’ offensive output was Bernise Ponce who finished the game with 6 kills, 18 points, 7 aces, 13 assists and 12 digs. Filling her role perfectly was the third captain, Cassandra Torres. Torres, far from the towering killers that make up her front court, is blessed with speed and guts and could be seen ranging the back line from left to right, digging out everything the Coyotes could get past the blockers. Torres finished the match with 6 points and a team high of 24 defensive digs.
However, it was Martinez who seemed to be the Eagles’ spearhead.
“Volleyball is her passion,” said Clemons of Martinez. “She has gone above and beyond by not only being my captain but by being my role model. She’s my loudest girl and my communicator in getting everyone motivated.”
Clemons is understandably pleased with her team’s progress.
“I believe we’re there this year,” said Clemons, now in her second year as head coach. “This group of girls seems to be getting there. We have come a long way since last year.”
The progress couldn’t have come at a better time as the Eagles will play host to number one ranked Sharyland at noon on Saturday.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.