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Calhoun wins bi-district volleyball match

By bY CLAY WHITTINGTON - CWHITTINGTON@VICAD.COM
Nov. 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.


PORT LAVACA - After losing its final three regular season matches, Calhoun finally found its way back into the win column.

And it could not have come at a better time.

On the heels of a nine-game losing streak, the Sandies earned a dominating bi-district playoff victory by defeating San Antonio Southside 25-12, 25-9, 25-14.

Calhoun set the tone by scoring the contest's first six points and never allowed the Cardinals to gain any momentum.

Soutside recorded consecutive points just eight times all evening with four of the streaks coming in the third set.

By that point, however, the damage was already done as Calhoun led virtually the entire match, leaving first-year head coach Virginia Parsons excited about her team's all-around performance.

"I think (the kids) stepped up to the challenge," the coach said. "Coming off a couple losses, they worked really hard and it paid off.

"We work on defense every day, and I just preached to them that if we don't have defense, we aren't going to get very far. Their defense and offense came together, and they did really well."

Melina Ortiz was key to the Sandies' success in both aspects, posting a team-high tying six kills and team-best three blocks.

"It feels pretty good," Ortiz said. "We haven't (won a playoff match) in a long time.

"We have the confidence to do things we've never done before."

Along with Ortiz, both Leah Sparks and Jordan Edison finished with six kills.

The Sandies will now play Flour Bluff in the area round. The Lady Hornets defeated Edcouch-Elsa at home 3-1.

While the Cardinals struggled to string together points, Calhoun constructed six streaks of four or more.

The first came off the opening serve as the Sandies jumped out to a 6-0 lead and extended it to nine points at 16-7 following five unanswered points.

"(The opening run) gave us confidence right away, and we just built on that," Parsons said.

Southside responded with its first tie at 2-2 and first lead at 3-2 early in the second game, but it did not last as Calhoun won six of the next seven points before the Cardinals produced their first and only three-point outburst of the match to pull within a point at 8-7.

The rally proved to be in vain though as the Sandies cruised to a second-set victory by scoring 17 of the next 19 points, including the set's final nine points.

Although it never threatened to take control, Soutside stayed within striking distance early in the third set until the Sandies clinched the victory with a 9-2 run.

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