PILOT POINT — Aubrey may have played short-handed in its season opener at Pilot Point on Tuesday, but the Lady Chaparrals rarely struggled thanks to a big night from Hannah Schmitz.
Schmitz rolled up 10 kills and one block to spark a 25-22, 25-12, 25-22 sweep of the Lady Bearcats, whose own offense suffered a big blow when do-it-all senior Marissa Morris went down with a knee injury during pregame warm-ups.
“Both teams were facing adversity tonight, and that’s really a tough deal,” said Aubrey coach Lisa Deaver, who had two players out with injuries and another who played while sick. “It took resolve to do what we did. [Schmitz] stepped up and carried a bigger load than what she normally needs to.”
That fed through to the rest of the Lady Chaparrals. Micayla Porter added seven kills, 15 assists and a block while Kendyl Wright knocked down another five kills and a block.
After taking the first two sets, Aubrey (1-0) trailed the Lady Bearcats by three late in the third set but went on a 10-4 run for the sweep.
The Lady Bearcats (0-1) controlled most of the third set, even jumping out to a 5-0 lead. Schmitz, however, knocked down three straight kills to pull Aubrey within two. From that point on, Aubrey had all the momentum.
Mackenzie David led Pilot Point with eight kills and Carrie Haynes added four kills.
“It’s the first game and we need to do a better job of staying focused,” Pilot Point coach Haley Ross said. “It’s hard, because in those situations, that’s when Marissa steps in and calms everyone down.”
There was no word on the extent of Morris’ knee injury, which happened when she landed awkwardly after spiking a ball over the net with just over three minutes to go in warm-ups. Morris did look to be in good spirits as she remained on the sideline during the match with ice on her knee.
“That was a big blow. Marissa is our team captain and our leader. She doesn’t come off the court,” Ross said. “When she went down, the rest of the girls sort of went with her, though I was proud of the way they fought.”
Pilot Point went on a 6-2 run to take a 17-13 lead in the opening set. Even after a brief rally that gave the Lady Chaparrals the lead, Pilot Point bounced back to knot the set at 21. That’s when Aubrey took over, scoring four of the set’s final five points to score the early advantage.
The teams continued to battle back and forth as the second set got started. Pilot Point pulled to within 8-7, but watched as Aubrey shot out on a 17-5 run to score an easy win. Schmitz capped the surge with a heavy-handed spike.
“We talked a lot about being a family and having each other’s back,” Deaver said. “The girls communicated well on the court tonight, and that was great to see.”