Unlike in the first two sets, Westlake jumped out to an early 5-1 lead. New Braunfels Canyon refused to go quietly, as they rallied to keep the set close at 23-22. The Chaps called timeout, reset, and finished strong, winning 25-22 and completing their sweep.
“We tend to cruise a lot when we start winning.” junior Ellie Turner said. “We aren’t used to having a lot of fans at our games, and coach Laracuente changed the culture around the team, which helps.”
Varsity volleyball opened up their first home game of the season with a sweep over New Braunfels Canyon High School. It was head coach Marci Laracuente’s first game at home as the head coach for the Chaps.
“We knew that Canyon was a really good team, they’re ranked highly in the area and state,” Laracuente said. “Really we were just trying to focus on our energy and communication on the court, then just letting things fall in place after that.”
The game started off even, with both teams keeping their composure. Westlake fell behind 4-8 early, but a diving save from Ellie kept the ball moving, as the Chaps fought back to make the score 11-11. The game was back and forth from there, and Westlake prevailed, taking the first set.
Westlake once again found themselves behind in the second set, but eventually tied it up at 11-11. From there on, the Chaps caught momentum, taking the lead 20-14 at one point thanks to strong outings from juniors Casey Campbell and Brennan Haralson. They won the set 25-15, taking a commanding 2-0 lead on sets.
“It’s never easy not knowing what can happen with teams like [Canyon],” Laracuente said. “Our goal is to keep our focus and maybe start a little bit stronger.”
Casey finished off the game leading the team with 12 kills. Brennan led the team with the highest hit percentage at .471 while also having 11 kills. Sophomore Katie Hashman finished with 9 kills as well.
“It’s my first year at Westlake after coaching twelve years at Flower Mound High School,” Laracuente said. “My big thing was to keep the traditions here but also build onto what Coach Bennett has already done, and I’m really excited to get started with a new district.”