‘Punched in the face’: Harlan volleyball responds after tough first set against Brennan

Harlan caps off the week on Friday against the O’Connor Panthers

SAN ANTONIO – A District 29 6A volleyball match on Tuesday night featured two ranked teams who made the atmosphere at the Northside Sports Gym feel like a heavyweight bout.

The 8th-ranked Harlan Hawks took on the 21st-ranked Brennan Bears, which included what seemed like some of the loudest and most energized fan bases in South Texas.

The match started with a competitive first set that saw Brennan get out to a 4-1 lead, but Harlan fought back to win 25-21.

The second set is where things got even more interesting when Brennan won 28-26, and the Harlan players told us they felt as if they had been punched in the face.

“We’re the type of team who doesn’t like to get punched in the face and not do anything about it,” senior Aniya Joseph said. “We’re gonna push back no matter what. So I think once we realized like ‘ok, now we have to play,’ like we just locked in, and that’s what we did.”

The Hawks’ Head Coach, Monica Gonzalez, doesn’t always want to put her players in that type of position but enjoyed how they decided to punch back.

“We have 11 seniors that bring that type of leadership,” Gonzales said. “But they don’t like to get punched in the mouth, but sometimes you need it; it’s all about the reaction of it. I think (the) second set, we (were) down nine to four, and we chip away, chip away (to) win our points here and there like we don’t give up, and that’s the whole point of it. We don’t like (it); she doesn’t like to be put in that sort of situation, so it’s a response.”

“We just knew that we had to fight, and I think we are like a comeback team, so just having to push harder and fight back made us wanna work harder, I guess,” sophomore Jaci Hall said.

The Hawks will cap off their week with another tough test when they take on the O’Connor Panthers on Friday night.

About the Author:

Nick Mantas is a KSAT 12 Sports Editor. He has previously worked in Lansing, San Fransisco and Abilene. Nick earned a Master's Degree in Sports Media from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Arizona, where he also interned as a strength and conditioning coach.