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Cats stay hot, ready for drive to state tourney

Westview sweeps Sunset to secure a second-place finish


ROCK CREEK — The Westview volleyball team wasn’t about to let Sunset spoil its party.

The Wildcats, hosting the Apollos in the final round of the 2012 Metro League season on Tuesday, started the evening by honoring their seniors, then honored them once more by sweeping past the Apollos 25-16, 25-17, 25-9 at Westview High School.

by: MILES VANCE - ON TARGET - Westview senior Sydney Blankinship connects for an attack against Sunset on Tuesday night at Westview High School while teammate Holli Hanson looks on. The Wildcats swept to a three-game win over the Apollos.

The win capped Westview’s Metro League season at 7-3 and left the Wildcats tied with Southridge for second place, though the Wildcats will take the Metro’s third playoff berth to the Class 6A state playoffs based on Southridge’s higher ranking. Westview will open postseason play on Oct. 31; its opponent, match time and location are yet to be determined.

“It was our senior night so we came out with a lot of energy and we’re going to try and bring that energy and momentum into the playoffs,” said Westview middle blocker Sydney Blankinship, one of eight seniors on the Cats’ roster. “It was definitely helpful.”

“We just wanted to give it our all before playoffs start, and it’s senior night, so it meant a lot,” added Westview senior setter Holli Hanson. “We wanted to give them a good show.”

While the Apollos didn’t get what they wanted Tuesday night, they left with more pressing concerns on their minds — getting ready for their Class 6A Play-In match on Saturday. Their opponent, match time and location will not be set until either today (Thursday) or tomorrow.

“As long as we get the ball to our hitters, we can win some games in the playoffs,” said Sunset senior libero Makayla Alton. “We just need to come out with a lot of energy and do the best we can do and win some games.”

“It’s defense that we need to work on,” agreed Sunset sophomore Laurie Salness. “We have great hitters and great passers. We just need to cover under our hitters to make sure we’re where we’re supposed to be when the ball goes up.”

The Apollos hung tough in game one, tied at 7-7 on a Kendall Brock kill before Westview won a sideout and began to take control. Loren Losli served the Wildcats through a 5-0 run that included one ace, two Hannah Lautenbach kills and took the Westview lead to 13-7.

Sunset was still within 16-12 when Danielle Sterba made a kill off a Salness set, but the Wildcats closed the game on a 9-4 run to pull away, that stretch highlighted by two kills from Blankinship and three at the end of the game by Lautenbach.

The Apollos dealt with more of the same in game two, rallying within 12-10 when Chanel Richardson scored from the left side, but the Wildcats edged away slowly but surely from there. Westview didn’t score more than two points in a row the rest of the game, but saw Hanson, Lautenbach and Blankinship carry the load down the stretch, and senior Aleks Vrvilo end the game with an ace.

And in game three, Westview just flat accelerated away to victory. The Apollos trailed just 4-3 early on, but could only watch as the Wildcats ripped off a 6-0 run highlighted by three Lautenbach kills and a joust by Adair Kealiinohomoku.

After a trade of sideouts, Westview came back with another 6-0 run to take control at 16-4. One rotation later, Savannah Bourgeois served up a 5-0 run that included two aces to make it 21-5, and Lynsey Oordt ended the match on a crosscourt kill from the left side set by Hanson.

“Our passers were able to get the ball up to the net and both our setters are amazing and they set it all up for us,” Blankinship said. “And the crowd helped a lot. We had a lot of friends and family here for support.”

Now, the Wildcats have their sights set on winning in the playoffs and reaching the Class 6A state tournament.

“That’s our main goal. We want it all,” Hanson added. “We’ve got out sights set on it. We’re going to go for it.”

To see a complete photo gallery from this match, go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.



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