Don’t look now, but Cinderella still has her slipper on in the Sunset Region girls volleyball tournament.
The suddenly hot Liberty Patriots won for the third consecutive time, avenging a regular-season loss in the process with a 25-20, 13-25, 25-18, 25-18 victory over Desert Oasis in a Sunset Region quarterfinal at Bishop Gorman.
“When we saw the playoff coming up, we didn’t think we’d go that far,” freshman outside hitter Brooklyn Slater said. “Then we won against Green Valley. …We’re just clicking more.”
Just a week ago, after a shutout loss to Bishop Gorman — the team Liberty will play on Thursday in semifinals — the Patriots were languishing at 7-15 overall. They’ve since rolled off three consecutive victories.
“We just caught fire,” Agatonu said. “We knew we are better than we were.”
Against Desert Oasis on Wednesday, the Patriots (10-15) spread the wealth offensively.
In the back, libero Alana Chun locked down the back line and kept the ball almost constantly in play. Up front, the block set the tone led by Brooklyn Slater, Jordyn Emmons and friends. Liberty spread the scoring around.
Leahi Sefo had a team-high eight kills to go with her four blocks and three service aces. Emmons had six kills, seven digs and five aces. Aiyana Evans dished out 16 assists.
The balanced attack offset a good night from Sophia Parlanti for Desert Oasis (30-9).
Parlanti had a match-high 15 kills to go with eight digs and a pair of blocks. Nina Garcia had 37 assists for the Diamondbacks,who just two weeks ago handed Liberty a hard-fought 3-2 loss in regular league play.
The Patriots got it going early, bolting to the early 7-3 lead in the first set. Desert Oasis kept it close, at least for a while.
The Diamondbacks pulled within a point before Liberty went on an 8-1 run to stretch the lead and claim a 1-0 advantage.
It was a similar big run of points, 9-0, that extended a Desert Oasis lead in the second set to 21-8 en route to a 25-13 win. But the Diamondbacks couldn’t keep any momentum.
Liberty won a back-and-forth third set, then used 7-0 and 7-2 runs again in the fourth to put away a 25-18 win for a 3-1 match victory.
“We’ve just rallied together,” Agatonu said. “Here we are, and it’s fun.”
Bishop Gorman 3, Silverado 0 — At Gorman, Julianne Carlat had seven kills as the Gaels earned a convincing 25-10, 25-9, 25-14 victory over the Skyahwks.
Gorman (34-4) raced to big leads to open each of the first two sets before outlasting Silverado in the third. Angelina Starck had 24 assists and three aces, and Caroline Edgeworth had 13 asssists for the Gaels.
Audrey Wood had three kills for Silverado, which finishes 15-21.
Coronado 3, Sierra Vista 0 — At Durango, Sasha Bolla had 14 kills, nine digs and two aces as the Cougars defeated the Mountain Lions, 25-15, 25-22, 25-12 in the Desert Region quarterfinals.
Cassandra Smits-Van Oyen added 33 assists and two kills, and Ashlynn Ammerman had seven kills and two blocks for Coronado, which got 10 digs from Kennedi Steele.
Leilani Vitale led Sierra Vista with 10 kills and three blocks, and Matlyn Ua added 13 assists.
The Cougars hosts Durango (26-5) in the semifinals at 4 p.m. on Thursday
The Mountain Lions finish 13-14.
Durango 3, Basic 0 — At Durango, Tehani Faitau had 18 assists and 10 aces to help the Trailblazers to a 25-22, 25-22, 25-11 win over the Wolves.
Sophia Dominguez added 11 kills and seven digs for Durango.
Basic finished 9-19.