BRYAN — A dominant start to the 2019 season wasn’t enough to leave the Alpha Omega Lady Lions satisfied on Thursday night.
They know there’s a long road ahead, with much improvement to be made. There’s also a sense of unfinished business, and a determination to build off last year’s run to the TAPPS state quarterfinals.
Perhaps that’s why moments after the Lady Lions’ season-opening sweep at Bryan St. Joseph (25-10, 25-12, 25-23), head coach Janice Hudson was already focused on areas where her team can get better.
“We have the talent, but we need to find the oomph to put the ball down every time,” said Hudson, referencing a sluggish third set. “We need everybody to be able to put the ball down. ... I think we’re relying too much on a couple players right now. “
While Alpha Omega is undoubtedly hungry for more, the team’s performance in the season opener oozed with dominance.
Following a back-and-forth start to the first set, the Lady Lions broke open a tie with a 17-2 run to close the set.
They followed a similar pattern in the next set. With the score at 12-10, Alpha Omega proceeded to pull away, scoring 13 of the next 15 points to go up two sets to one.
“This gives us a lot of confidence,” Alpha Omega senior Jaden Varieur said. “I believe in us. We’re going to be good this year. … Everybody is close, and everybody has gotten stronger.”
The Lady Lions received their only significant adversity of the night in the third and final set.
They clawed back from a 7-1 hole, but struggled to put their opponent away. Trailing 23-21, however, Alpha Omega answered the call.
Varieur rose up and delivered a kill to spark a 4-0 run to close out the match, capped by a block at the net from senior Natalie Rex to secure the victory.
“I just wanted to do one more good thing for my team,” Rex said. “I saw it was 24-23 and said, ‘Uh oh, here’s my chance,’ and my teammate said, ‘You got it.’ It felt really good.”
The Lady Lions will have a quick turnaround for their next match, returning to the court Friday for a tournament in Bellville.