Teams meet for third time this year
Nov. 8, 2011 at 5:08 a.m.
A week ago Jordan Fedorchak believed she had played her last home volleyball match for Victoria West High School.
As luck, and the playoff brackets, would have it, Fedorchak and the Warriors five other seniors will have one final hurrah at their comfortable confines - against a Calhoun team they have twice beaten this year.
Yet, previous successes against the Sandies might not be a prelude to this evening's Class 4A regional quarterfinal. Calhoun (25-14) beat favored Flour Bluff in four games in the area round, and might be playing its best volleyball with its season on the line.
"They beat some teams, they played a good a good game and they finished," said West volleyball coach Sandy Longoria. "We discussed that you can never underestimate anyone when they have that feeling right now."
Longoria specifically took note of the Sandies improved play after hearing how they found a way to make Flour Bluff middle blockers Katie Thompson and Makenzie Jauer ineffective in Thursday's area round victory.
Considering West's most potent offensive threat is senior middle hitter Brooke Smith that matchup between Smith and Calhoun blockers Melina Ortiz, Jordan Edison and Sage Sexton might be pivotal.
"They have good hits and they have good blockers, but we can also put up good hits and good blocks," said Calhoun volleyball coach Virginia Parsons. "We have to focus on serving and serve receive because defense is going to keep you in the game. If you are in the game, what more can you ask for?"
Perhaps a win; however, if the Sandies are going to do that, they must remain focused. Parsons believed her team was more focused when the two schools met Oct. 4 as opposed to the Oct. 21 match in Victoria when the Sandies were swept 25-14, 25-13, 25-15.
To tamp down any Warrior overconfidence Longoria, told her team the story of the 2003 Cypress Creek boys volleyball team. The Bears lost twice to Hollywood McArthur during the season, but defeated the Mustangs in the state quarterfinals. Longoria was the head coach of the supposedly inferior Bears.
In addition to Smith improving her hitter percentage since district play began, hitters Kelsea Kalich and Kelly Fowler have improved defensively, while still providing secondary options for the Warriors attack. Longoria said their ability to not only dig attacks, but accurately pass the ball while digging facilitates the Warriors potent offense.
The odds might be long, for the Sandies, but Parsons said her girls are going too fight with everything they have, an attitude, which has led to their first regional quarterfinal in eight years.
"We have to stay focused on what we can do," said Parsons, who took Sinton to the regional semifinals in 2010. "We know West is a really good team and they are coached really well. If we can key in on what we do well and keep them off their game play that is what I will tell them. From here on out a little bit of luck makes a big deal."