Erin Farina, apparently, knows how to close out a match.
With Western poised for a sweep going into game three, Farina slammed the door on any hope of a rally by Fort Defiance with a 16-point run at the service line and a 16-0 advantage for Western that eventually led to a 25-6 game victory and the 3-0 sweep for the No. 2-seeded Warriors in the Conference 29 quarterfinals.
“We got off to a big lead and when you get a big lead like that everything goes a little easier,” said Western coach Ron Pack. “Players are a little bit looser and more confident and on the other side the other team gets tight.”
Farina had a strong all around night at setter with 26 assists and six digs to help ignite the Western offense. The Warriors’ defensive quickness seemed to be a difference maker against the Indians as Western unleashed attack after attack because the backline led by Hannah Miles’ 13 digs seemed to get everything up.
“I felt like we did what we needed to do,” Pack said. “Since we didn’t know much about Fort Defiance I asked them to play sound, fundamental volleyball. When you play good defense the offense always follows.”
That strong flow from defense to offense set the stage for a bunch of hitters to have big nights for Western with Kelsey Grove’s 12 kills at the top of the heap. Courtney Berry had seven kills and three blocks and Sienna Kellum chipped in eight kills.
In game one, Western was just as dominant as the Warriors were in the match-clinching third game, ripping off a 25-11 win in the opener. They followed with a 25-19 win in game two.
Grove also added seven digs to her effort.
The Warriors will face Turner Ashby, who beat Broadway 3-0 in another quarterfinal, Wednesday at Broadway at 7:45 p.m. The Warriors beat TA twice earlier this season at a tournament at Monticello High.
Mustangs upend Stuarts Draft on the road
Monticello clearly wasn’t phased by its seeding in the Conference 29 tournament that forced the Mustangs to hit the road to take on No. 4 Stuarts Draft.
Monticello rolled Stuarts Draft in four sets 3-1, winning 25-22, 25-21, 26-28, 25-18.
Zimako Chuks led the offensive attack for Monticello with 13 kills and also chipped in eight digs on the night. Allie Perez’s 30 assists, eight kills and three aces also played a big role in the victory and Michaela Tolley posted eight kills and four aces.
Katie Devine came up with a pair of blocks while Simrin Goodman finished with seven digs.
The win puts Monticello (8-9) in the Conference 29 semifinals where they’ll face No. 1-seed Spotswood who beat Waynesboro in another quarterfinal, at Broadway Wednesday night.