For the first time this fall, Foothill’s girls volleyball players are actually excited to have practice.
The Falcons extended their season with a 25-18, 20-25, 25-23, 25-19 victory over Liberty on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Class 4A Sunrise Region tournament at Coronado High School.
Whitley Brow had 14 kills, two aces and 11 digs, and Brooke Bykowski added eight kills for fifth-seeded Foothill (19-16, 6-4 Sunrise League), which plays top-seeded Coronado (24-9) on Thursday.
“We had been struggling during the season to not compound our mistakes,” Falcons coach Krysta Ortiz said. “It was nice to see them execute that tonight and come together as a team.”
Foothill relied on a strong service game to wrangle the first set. Liberty responded by doing the same thing in the second set, but the Falcons regrouped to win a back-and-forth third.
The final set was practically tied for its entirety until the Falcons seized control and concluded the match with a 7-1 scoring run. Foothill’s players rejoiced as the Patriots (22-13, 7-3) accepted their fate a few feet away.
“We structure the drills in our practice to be game-like, and to try and put stress on them … so they learn to be uncomfortable in those situations,” Ortiz said. “I think that helped out tonight a lot.”
Foothill senior Savannah Lopez said her team had a sense of urgency before the match, and the upperclassmen relished the playoff stage.
“Our team was thinking about losing, actually. They were talking about and saying this was going to be a tough game,” she said. “Some of the seniors … and juniors told the underclassmen ‘Hey we got this.’ That really helped.”
Coronado 3, Las Vegas 0 — At Coronado, the Cougars breezed their way to a 25-10, 25-9, 25-16 victory over the No. 8 seed Wildcats (7-26) in the Sunrise Region quarterfinals.
Madison Karcich led the Cougars with 12 kills. Cassandra Smits-Van Oyen had 22 assists and five aces and Dallas Balanay-Flores had 15 assists.
Silverado 3, Rancho 0 — At Silverado, Sydney Berenyi had 19 kills and three aces as the Skyhawks swept the Rams in the Sunrise Region quarterfinals, 25-14, 25-18, 25-17.
Brielen Aquino had 27 assists and five digs for the Skyhawks (22-15), and Audrey Wood added four kills.
Rancho’s Dayana Raygoza had 10 assists and eight digs, and Taylor Ewing had nine kills. Mia Suzuki had 11 digs for the Rams (14-19).
Green Valley 3, Basic 2 — At Silverado, Abby Olsen’s 43 assists, 13 digs and four blocks helped the Gators edge the Wolves in a Sunrise Region quarterfinal, 23-25, 25-21, 25-15, 30-32, 15-10.
Deijah Spaight had 16 kills for the Gators (14-16), Kristine Davis had 14 digs, and Madison Hutchinson-Martinez had 11 digs and four aces.
Basic’s Kiara Richardson had 17 kills and 23 digs, and Skylar Robbins had 41 assists and nine digs. Keonna Richardson added eight kills and five blocks for the Wolves (8-7).
Contact reporter Sam Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.