Farmersville ends skid with win over Granite Hills

Farmersville’s Leile Juarzez digs the ball against Granite Hills on Thursday night. Farmersville defeated Granite Hills in three sets to snap a two-match skid.(Kason Clark)

The Aztecs defeat the Grizzlies in three sets on the road; the win snapped a two-match losing streak for the Aztecs

PORTERVILLE – The Farmersville Aztecs found themselves in a rut lately with two straight losses. With their match against Granite Hills on the road Thursday night, the Aztecs were hoping to find a spark and get back on track.

As it turns out, the Aztecs did just that as they defeated the Grizzlies in three sets (25-21, 25-19, 25-19) to snap their losing streak. With the win, both Farmersville head coach Dave Light and Farmersville player Jazmaine Stewart are feeling much better about the prospects of the team.

“We needed this win. We’ve been struggling to get our cohesiveness as a team,” Light said. “We went back to basics and made it simple and you can see what they can do when they just keep it simple.”

“It felt really good,” Stewart said. “I feel like it’s going to be another springboard for us to take on this weekend and our tournament, so I’m really excited to see how well we do.”

Looking to get back on track, the Aztecs looked to take control of the first set. After a 4-4 tie to start the night, the Aztecs went on a 9-3 run to take a 13-7 lead. But the Grizzlies kept with it and battled throughout the first.

Later in the first, the set remained close as the Aztecs only had a 22-19 lead. But the Aztecs ended strong to win it, 25-21, for a 1-0 lead on the night. As the Aztecs started the night with a win, Stewart believes they just talked to each other on the court.

“We learned to communicate and play as a team instead of as a bunch of individuals,” Stewart said. “That’s something that really helps us out a lot as well as a lot of fundamentals that we work on day to day.”

The Aztecs remained hot as they raced out to a 5-0 lead to start the second. The Grizzlies struggled to respond as the Aztecs rode their momentum to a 21-12 lead late in the second. The Grizzlies finally found some momentum, but Farmersville held on for the 25-19 victory for the 2-0 lead in the match.

Despite a 2-0 deficit to start the third, the Aztecs responded with a 13-3 run to take a 13-5 lead over the Grizzlies. Just like the second set, the Aztecs controlled the third to stretch their lead out to 20-10. The Grizzlies attempted another comeback and were able to cut the deficit to 22-18. But again, the Aztecs closed it out for the 25-19 victory to close out the night in three sets.

Farmersville’s strong night dropped Granite Hills to 2-5 on the season. As the Grizzlies move forward, Granite Hills head coach Alexandria Ulloa hopes her team can learn the importance of communication.

“Our only struggle right now is communicating, but we’re improving every day,” Ulloa said. “So we’ll be back and better next time.”

On the other end, the Aztecs improved to 5-4 on the season. As his team moves forward, Light hopes that the Aztecs will continue to play aggressive and dictate the pace of the game the next time they step on the court.

“We played an aggressive type of volleyball tonight,” Light said. “In the past, we were playing not to lose and now, tonight, we started playing to win, and that’s a big difference.”

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