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Victoria West volleyball beats Calhoun, heading to regional tournament

By Victoria Advocate
Nov. 8, 2011 at 5:08 a.m.
Updated Nov. 9, 2011 at 5:09 a.m.

Kelly Fowler dives unsuccessfully for the ball after it was spiked by Calhoun during the regional quarterfinals at Victoria West High School. TODD KRAININT/TKRAINIn@VICAD.COM

Seventy five side outs separated Victoria West or Calhoun from a Friday night regional tournament match in San Antonio.

It did not take nearly that long to figure out which school was going to seize that berth.

Eight points into the match, a Sandies block fell inches wide, and might have been the first indicator their luck through the Class 4A playoffs might have run out. Had that Sandies block on the left of their front row defense landed, the first game would have been tied at four.

Calhoun knew it needed a quick start against the Warriors to have a chance to spring a monumental upset Tuesday night at Victoria West High School.

However, their plucky fortune ran out in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals 25-9, 25-15, 25-16 to a West team determined to return to the regional tournament.

The Warriors (36-6) not only qualified for regionals for a second straight season, but once again did not lose a home contest. West will play Cedar Park in Friday's regional semifinal.

"We really focused on our defense and we focused on our efficiency, as well as doing everything to the best of our ability" said Victoria West senior libero Sara Hermes. "We set well, we passed well, we hit well. I think all of those elements came together."

Leading into the rematch between the District 30-4A foes Calhoun volleyball coach Virginia Parsons said her team had to keep the Warriors off their game plan, play their best and hope for a bit of luck.

"We were prepared for what was coming, and we knew what they had," said Calhoun senior Leah Sparks. "It was the little things we had to work on. They are just a good team."

"I thought the third time we played them we did a whole lot better than the first and second game. Before, we may have taken them to four games, but we still played and gave it our all."

West had defeated the Sandies (25-15) both times the teams met. Calhoun promised themselves Tuesday's match would be different, and in some respects it was.

The final score might have been convincing, but midway through the second and third games Calhoun had opportunities to surprise West. The Warriors led 11-10 in the second game before winning 13 of the next 15 points, while in the third the Warriors led 10-7 before making another run to put the match away.

"I think in the first game and in the first few points we weren't ready," Parsons said. "In games two and three, we played them to a point. We just didn't finish tonight."

A trio of Warriors produced at least 10 kills, led by senior Jordan Fedorchak's 12. Kelsea Kalich added 11 kills and eight digs, while middle blocker Rachel Hamon had 10 kills and six blocks.

Calhoun co-captain and libero Hannah Mullins had 18 digs in her final match for the Sandies. Tuesday marked the final match in black and gold for Mullins, Sparks, Sage Sexton, Jordan Cox and setter Jayda Barton.

The match was definitively the final one Hermes and her five fellow seniors would play in Victoria. At its conclusion, their head coach Sandy Longoria did not try to contain her smile, or happiness about her girl's accomplishment.

"We understood that they were hungry. We knew that we had to make sure that we took nothing for granted and did not take anything lightly," Longoria said. "We understood that someone's season was going to end. We didn't want it to be ours."

KILLS: Victoria West, Jordan Fedorchak 12, Kelsea Kalich 11, Rachel Hamon 10, Brooke Smith 7; Calhoun, Jordan Edison 6, Melina Ortiz 4; ASSISTS: Victoria West, Blair Butschek 43; Calhoun, Jayda Barton 9, Tallen Hermes 4; BLOCKS: Victoria West, Hamon 6, Fedorchak 3, Smith 3; Calhoun, Ortiz 3, Edison 2, Sage Sexton 2; DIGS: Victoria West, Sarah Hermes 9, Kalich 8; Calhoun, Mullins 18, Barton 9; ACES: Victoria West, Kelly Fowler 2, Fedorchak 1; Calhoun, Ortiz 1, Barton 1, Hermes 1.

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