Sep. 1—SANTO — For the first time in school history, Santo Junior High hosted its inaugural volleyball matches in its vintage basketball gymnasium in front of packed stands with plenty of excitement in the air as Lipan came to town.
"It's great to see the community's support, and when I see that through these numbers and all the cheers we heard, it does make me excited to see that volleyball can work here," head coach Erin Rincon said. "The players and fans are all excited about volleyball being here, and we can continue to feed off that to help grow this."
The Santo Green and White Teams, both led by Rincon, battled hard against the visiting Lady Indian teams. In the end, the White Team fell 18-25 and 10-25, while the Green Team lost 16-25 and 19-25, but the atmosphere and turnout were unmatched in this historic moment for the newly established volleyball program.
"The energy goes to the players, which is so important in volleyball. When they heard the fans go crazy, it made them go crazy and vice versa," Rincon said. "That's what I love to see in how the energy played off between both the players and the fans."
During the second set of the Green Team's match, the Lady Wildcats battled hard against the visitors. On four separate occasions, Santo managed to battle back to tie the score, with the last tie coming at 17-all. While the volleyball program still works to hone their skills and familiarize themselves with competitive volleyball matches, Rincon was pleased to see the way her team fought in a packed gymnasium.
"With this being their first game, I was excited for the girls to get a taste of what playing volleyball in a competitive setting feels like," Rincon said. "Now they have that and they performed so well under pressure. They had such high moments in putting last-ditch effort on display and getting the ball back over during competitive rallies. Seeing the fans get excited over the way the girls were playing out there is a great thing, too."