HEADED TO ROUND TWO

Clark remains at the top of 28-6A

Harlan perched at the top of 28-5A

By Pat Turner

Round Two of District 28-6A volleyball begins this week.

That means this is the final opportunity for teams to make their run for one of the four playoff positions.

Looking at the way things went in Round One, the outlook is highly favorable for Clark, Warren, O’Connor and Brandeis.

Clark (34-3, 9-0) is leading the pack after running the table in the first half with 3-0 victories in each match. Warren (17-17, 7-2) shared the lead with the Cougars most of the way but losses to Clark and Brandeis dropped the Warriors in a second-place tie with the Broncos (24-9, 7-2) and O’Connor (29-9, 7-2).

Brennan (18-14, 5-4) is hanging tough, but the Bears will need a good second-half run and a little outside help along the way. The same goes for Stevens (21-12, 4-5).

Clark began this past week with a 3-0 win over Holmes and increased its league-lead with a sweep of Warren.

The Cougars have relied on steady play each match. That was the case against Warren as the hitting combination of Elise and Kara McGhee, Grace Gibson and Taylor McDonough clicked once again. Plenty of support also came from setter Ashley Hu and Madison Cuellar, who recorded 13 digs.

The Cougars soared to a 25-12 win in the first set, but Warren made things difficult in the second as Camryn Anderson and Loimata Tufuno’s kills created problems.

Warren appeared to be pulling out a victory but late heroics from Kara McGhee and Gibson propelled Clark to a 26-24 win. The Cougars got on a roll quicker to claim a 25-18 victory in the deciding set.

O’Connor and Brandeis also had productive weeks.

The Panthers topped Brennan, 3-1, and followed with a 3-0 win over Stevens.

Brennan gave O’Connor a challenge.

After O’Connor claimed a 25-17 win in the first game, Kayla Lofland and Ahzi Coleman paced the Bears to a 25-23 victory in the second set.

With the match even, O’Connor picked up the intensity. Marina De La Rosa, who finished with 21 assists, leading the charge with her passes, Bryshanna Brown, Lexi Davila, Gabby De Los Santos, Kali Nelson and Sunnie Ozment delivered the goods during 25-16, 25-9 wins.

While the shots were hitting their spots, the Panthers spruced up their defensive tactics with much of the support coming from Peyton Hummel (38 digs).

Brandeis turned in a well-rounded performance during 3-0 wins over Jay and Taft with a balanced attacked led by Chidera Ogwokaegbe, Maya Smalls, Ava Magnabosco, Chase Kluna, Jayln Gibson, Trinity Herrera and Kristen Meier

Brennan got back on track following its loss to O’Connor with a 3-0 win over Holmes.

Lofland led the Bears with 10 kills. Shirley Haynes also had a big match, delivering 18 assists and recording two aces. Lela Collier helped out on the defensive side with 24 kills.

Despite falling to O’Connor, a 3-2 win over Taft enabled Stevens to remain in the playoff hunt.

The Falcons, however, had to stage a comeback to pull out a win after Jamiryana Hall’s kills paced Taft to 25-18, 25-17 wins for a 2-0 edge.

Stevens got into a flow behind the guidance of Gabby Rodriguez, Micaela D’Andrea and Chiamaka Umeh to even things up with 25-18, 25-14 wins.

The momentum from the comeback carried over into the final game where Stevens capped the match with a 15-9 win.

District 28-5A

Harlan (20-11, 8-0) remained perfect in 28-5A with a 3-0 thumping of Eagle Pass Winn.

During the 25-11, 25-6, 25-15 wins, the Hawks dominated the match with Kiana Fallaha and Ayanna Jackson’s net play. Jevani Hanspard and Julie Arguijo’s passing came in handy throughout the match.

For images of the games you can log onto https://echosportszone.pixieset.com/

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