McALLEN — The McAllen Rowe Warriors entered Saturday’s road match against rival McAllen Memorial with an upset on their mind.
The Mustangs, unbeaten in District 30-6A, saw Rowe storm out of the gates and steal the opening set 21-25 behind the play of juniors Anna Honrubia and Lauren Moubray.
After dropping the first, Memorial head coach Ashley Doffing gathered her team and asked them a couple of questions.
“The first thing she said was ‘Do y’all have your jitters out? Your nervousness, is it gone?’ We were like ‘yeah, it is,’ and I think we proved that it was gone in that second game,” Memorial senior middle blocker Demy Banks said.
Those early game jitters disappeared in sets two through four as the Mustangs went on to win three straight 25-8, 25-14, 25-18 for the 3-1 victory. The win keeps Memorial a perfect 7-0 in district play after the first round of games at 7-0.
Doffing said she hoped falling during the first set lit a fire under her team to finish off strong.
“They worked really hard and today they did well. We started a little slow, but we got it together,” she said. “We just needed to play our game and I think they did.”
The Mustangs were led by Banks’ 13 kills, two aces, five blocks and four digs, and Sydney Marburger’s 24 assists, eight kills, eight digs, two aces and two blocks.
When it was time to put an exclamation point on sets two and four, Memorial’s Natalie Silva stepped up and came through for her team for both set points.
“We knew Rowe was going to come in wanting to beat us coming off a good game against McHi,” Silva said. “I knew they were going to want this game more so, so I think we did a good job of competing and coming through with the win.”
Silva, a junior right side, recorded 12 kills and nine digs during the match.
Rowe’s Honrubia finished with 13 digs, 10 kills, two assists and one block, while Moubray was second on the team with eight kills.
McAllen Memorial will look to build on its lead in district play and remain unbeaten in 30-6A action when they take the court at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday as the Mustangs play host to the Mission High Eagles.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will prepare for another rivalry game, this time against the McAllen High Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at McHi. The last time the Warriors and Bulldogs collided, McHi walked away with a sweep 25-18, 26-24, 25-14.