KINGSVILLE – Victoria West is now just one victory away from making it to the Region IV-5A volleyball tournament.
The Warriors had to shake off some early nerves in their second-round playoff match and pesky Mission Sharyland Pioneer to put themselves in that position Thursday night.
West overcame small deficits in each of the first two sets before putting away the Diamondbacks, 25-22, 25-20, 25-11 at Kingsville High School to advance to the Region IV-5A quarterfinals for the second time in four seasons.
“Sharyland Pioneer came in so hot and they’re a veteran team,” said West coach Alysia Hill. “So, they came to compete and we came to compete and it was a really fun match.”
District 30-5A champion Victoria West (36-7) will play District 29-5A champion Gregory-Portland at 7 p.m. Tuesday at George West High School.
Victoria West also atoned for falling in the area round each of the past two seasons.
“This really means a lot to us,” said West senior hitter Toni Ramirez. “We worked extremely hard for this and our hard work is really paying off for us this year.”
The Warriors trailed in each of the first two sets before responding.
West overcame a 9-7 deficit in the opener and trailed 17-16 in the second set before rallying.
Rachel Goodwine had back-to-back kills to enable the Warriors to erase that one-point second set deficit. That also sparked a 9-3 run by the Warriors to close that set and take control of the match.
Madison Samford also delivered a key ace late in that second set.
“The girls knew that if they just calmed down, played 100 percent all out and did their job and their role without over playing, they would take control and that’s what they did,” Hill said. “I’m very proud of them.”
Just like the second set, West stormed out to an 8-1 lead in the third set but this time not only held onto it but extended it to 16-3 en route to posting the sweep.
“We picked it up and I’m glad we came through,” Ramirez said. “All it took was a lot of energy and teamwork.”
Wellborn and Aliana Rojas combined for five aces.
Goodwine had a team-best nine kills and 2.5 blocks, followed by Erin Reynolds’ eight kills.
Setter Kia Willborn and Kallman also combined for 27 assists.
Madison Dybala and Kallman added 10 digs each for the Warriors.
“Pioneer was making some really good passes so our blockers and our defense just had to really step up,” Hill said. “This was a total team effort and that’s what we needed to move on.”
Class 5A area round
Victoria West 3, Sharyland Pioneer 0
Victoria West 25 25 25
Sharyland Pioneer 22 21 11
Highlights: (W) Madyson Dybala 3 assists, 10 digs; Rachel Goodwine 2 blocks, 4 digs, 9 kills; Sydney Harvey 1 dig; Piper Kallman 16 assists, 1 block, 10 digs, 3 kills; Toni Ramirez 3 digs, 5 kills; Erin Reynolds 1 block, 2 digs, 8 kills; Aliana Rojas 4 digs; Madison Samford 1 block, 3 digs, 4 kills; Kendal Wilkey 4 kills; Kia Willborn 11 assists, 8 digs, 1 kill. Record: Victoria West 36-7; 16-0.