Last Tuesday night’s sold out Fredericksburg High School volleyball game against Ingram felt like a championship playoff game.
The Billies were trying to stop Ingram’s 13-game winning streak. The Warriors, who won Tuesday’s matchup, 3-1, in the ’Burg are the top 3A team in the state, according to state polls by the Texas Girls Coaches Association.
“Officially, it was our first 2020 sellout at 50% capacity,” head coach Jason Roemer said. “It created a playoff atmosphere.”
Both sides of the bleachers were filled with fans who donned masks and practiced social distancing all while wildly cheering and stomping their feet in the stands.
The Billies, who lost to the Warriors in early August, wanted revenge.
“We knew they were going to be good; they have three seniors who are going to play collegiate volleyball and knew we would have our hands full,” Roemer said.
While Roemer and his team couldn’t knock off the undefeated Warriors, he said he was excited about the district matches.
“They have this goal of winning them all, and they rose to the occasion. You just have to tip your hat and say job well done,” he said.
The Billies were on track to pay back after taking the first set, 25-18.
“We took it to them in the first set and I think they were a little bit shell-shocked,” Roemer said.
The Billies lost their momentum in set two and lost 17-25.
They recovered in set three, behind the five serves of Madison Frantzen, a key double block by Clara Pluenneke and Sydney Schandua and a Pluenneke kill from the middle.
A simple dink by Ingram’s Karlie Bonam was all it took to get the Billies out of their rhythm and they lost the set 25-15.
The fourth set was close. FHS’s big hitters Pluenneke and Zoe Aldrich, along with back row hits from Megan Wahrmund matched the Warriors’ fire power. Ingram’s soft touches proved deadly and the Billies lost, 22-25.
“We have a young team and that playoff atmosphere affected us. I looked out in the fourth set and realized that Megan Wahrmund (a senior) was really the only one on the court who has been in this situation before and been in that kind of environment. Our youth just got to us a bit,” Roemer said. “I was excited about how we played and we had chances but unfortunately, we’d get close to winning and we’d tighten up,” Roemer said.
Roemer said volleyball is a momentum game and it’s important to maintain that to stay ahead.
“We talk all the time about how old people talk about doing it but the young people have to do it and until you’ve been in that situation, it’s hard,” Roemer said. “We have to be resilient and keep fighting. We are learning from every situation.”
It can be difficult to replicate game-like situations during practice but working on consistency and putting in reps helps, according to Roemer.
“We are trying to hit different shots and find ways to score,” Roemer said. “We can do it in practice to a certain extent but what we experienced this week with that kind of intensity was different.”
At the end of the day, Roemer is working to build the confidence of his team to get more wins ahead of the start of District 28-4A play, which begins Sept. 22 at home against Bandera.
“We have been in this situation where we can’t close out games so our confidence is shaken but we have to keep playing together and encourage each other,” he said.
FHS vs. Ingram
Ingram 3, FHS 1
25-18, 17-25, 18-25, 22-25
Aces: Megan Wahrmund 5, Madison Frantzen 1, Emma Stewart 1.
Kills: Wahrmund 12, Clara Pluenneke 11, Zoe Aldrich 11, Emma Stewart 2, Sydney Schandua 1, Carlotta Wilkinson 1.
Blocks: Stewart 2, Pluenneke 2, Schandua 2, Wahrmund 1, Annie Myers 1.
Digs: Jenna Wallendorf 12, Myers 9, Schandua 6, Frantzen 6, Wahrmund 3, Genesa Quay 2, Stewart 1, Aldrich 1.
Assists: Schandua 31, Sarah Stafford 3, Myers 1, Genesa 1.
FHS vs. Navarro
A tough Navarro High School team defeated the Billies on Friday night at home, 25-27, 14-25, 16-25.
FHS vs. Navarro
Navarro 3, FHS 0
25-27, 14-25, 16-25
Aces: Megan Wahrmund 1, Sydney Schandua 1, Emma Stewart 1.
Kills: Wahrmund 9, Clara Pluenneke 3, Stewart 3, Zoe Aldrich 2, Schandua 1, Abby Schladoer 1, Carlotta Wilkinson 1, Madison Frantzen 1.
Blocks: Pluenneke 1, Schandua 1, Taylor DeLong 1.
Digs: Annie Myers 10, Schandua 8, Jenna Wallendorf 7, Frantzen 7, Wahrmund 4, Pluenneke 2, Sarah Stafford 2, Stewart 1, Genesa Quay 1.
Assists: Schandua 15, Myers 2, Stafford 2, Wahrmund 2, Stewart 1.
FHS will host Llano on Friday night for homecoming.
Llano, a previous member of the same district as FHS, dropped down to 3A during UIL realignment.
Llano now competes alongside Ingram, Comfort, Blanco, Lago Vista and Austin IDEA.
“They have definitely improved just by looking at their scores, but we can’t go into the game thinking this is an easy game just because we beat them last year,” Roemer said. “We just have to control our side and close out the game.”
Varsity will compete first at 5 p.m. followed by JV and freshmen at 6:15 p.m.
On Tuesday, Sept. 15, FHS will face Cornerstone Christian at home.
Freshmen will play at 5 p.m., followed by JV at 6 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m.