Owls have little trouble with visiting Eagles

Hope Ranch didn’t have to worry about a late match on Thursday night.

Led by senior outside hitter Jackie Harvey, the Laguna Blanca girls volleyball team knocked the lights out of Merovick Gym as it won its second-round playoff match against Arrowhead Christian Academy 25-19, 25-18, 25-17.

On Saturday, the Owls (19-1) will face either Windward or Linfield Christian.

Harvey scorched the stat sheet with 23 kills, 11 digs, and two blocks. Senior Jessie Ditmore contributed with eight kills and led the team with 3 aces, and Heidi van den Oever had seven kills and a block. Sophomore setter Amanda Harvey stepped her defense up with 11 digs, tying her sister’s dig total.

Set one was a see-saw with Laguna holding a two-point lead until a 7-2 run cracked the game open at 17-11.  The Eagles could never recover from the 5-point deficit.

Set two started off well for Arrowhead Christian, but unforced errors and key service mistakes put the Owls back on the winning track. A 6-2 run in the middle of set two could have been called “The Harvey Show”, with Amanda dishing sweet sets to sister Jackie for five of the six points. This led to an Eagles timeout and the packed crowd exploded.

Laguna came out on fire in the third set. The first three plays were highlight reel material. On the opening point, Jackie Harvey destroyed a tight set down the line that bounced over her opponents. The second play Jessie Ditmore added a facial to her resume and Jackie Harvey crushed another set from sister Amanda into the bleachers for a 3-0 lead.

At 7-4, Hillary Williamson started a hot streak of her own, kicking off a 4-point mini run in which she served two aces and forced a timeout by the Eagles. From there, Laguna kept control of the match, never letting its opponents within seven points of the lead.

Overall, passing seemed to be the key to the Owls’ success.

“Our passing was really good and we were able to run Jessie and Heidi and that opened it up for Jackie,” said Coach Jim Alzina. “It was the first time we’ve had Lillie Hodges and Anna Dwyer in a match together for a long time and it really showed.”

Two keys to the match were Ditmore’s tough serving and van den Oever’s attacking at the net.

“I pretty much worked on keeping it in and serving it tough to a person,” said Ditmore when asked how she improved her serving for the playoffs.

Another key to their opening playoff victory was chemistry, according to Ditmore.

“We have to keep the chemistry that we have. The reason we did so well tonight is because we have bonded. We all had breakfast this morning together. We just need to stay calm and collected and not bicker with each other,” she said.

Maybe the Owls should make the breakfast a tradition.

Speak Your Mind