Vandegrift rallied to force the third set to extra points and held one to sweep Vista Ridge 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 28-26) on the road Tuesday night.
“Vista came out really strong and we knew it was going to be a tough match,” Vandegrift sophomore Annie Stadthaus said. “It was a really great match and we came through with a really close set, but it was definitely a nail-biter.”
The Lady Vipers have won two straight district games after beating Leander last Tuesday night to move their district record to 3-2. The Lady Rangers fall to 0-5 in district play with the loss.
Emma Gruben led Vista Ridge with seven kills while Skylar Warde and Taylor Bryant each added six kills. Setters Hannah Lerma and Kate Gruben each finished with 14 assists and Hayden Garis had 21 digs.
“We’ve been working a lot on defense and making pushes and I thought our defense was really good today,” Vista Ridge head coach Holly Lamb said. “We’ve been talking about fighting through points and not letting points tear us down. That’s what the second set did. When it got tight we got tight with it instead of just pushing through.”
Vandegrift started strong and got out to an early 10-3 lead in the first set but Vista Ridge rallied to cut the lead to 12-10 midway through the set. Any small run from one team was met with an equal one from the other and the Lady Vipers held on for a 25-22.
The Lady Vipers continued that momentum and fixed any errors they had in the first set. They got out to a 16-9 lead and won nine of the final 14 points to roll to a 25-14 win in the second set.
Vista Ridge went on a 5-0 run midway through the third set to take an 11-10 lead. The teams traded points and Vandegrift couldn’t get any closer than one point until it tied the set at 24 points apiece after facing set point in back-to-back points.
“It gets us ready for the rest of our really competitive district,” Stadthaus said. “I was really happy with how I played I think I did a good job of seeing the court. My blocking could’ve been better, but I’m only a sophomore.”
Vandegrift wraps up the first round of district play Friday night on the road against undefeated district leaders Westlake before traveling to face off with Lake Travis next Tuesday night. The Lady Cavaliers won 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 25-22) earlier in the season.
Vista Ridge travels to Lehman on Friday night and hosts the Lady Chaparrals, who swept the Lady Rangers in the first round, next Tuesday night.
“We’ve had some really good practices and they’ve been fighting,” Lamb said. “Now it’s just about applying that to the game. Sometimes the game gets too big. We need to go after the other team no matter who it is. Every day in practice is a battle.”
Elsewhere in District 25-6A, Leander dropped a five-set match on the road against Lehman. The Lady Lions won the first set 25-20 but dropped the next two 25-20 and 25-20. They won set four 25-19 but the Lady Rebels pulled out a 16-14 win in the final set.
Leander has a bye on Friday and next travels to face Lehman next Tuesday night.
No. 1 Rouse continued to dominate in district play, downing Elgin 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-7). Grayson Schirpik had 14 digs and 10 kills, Maddie Sheehan had 25 assists and four blocks, and élan McCall finished with 12 digs and eight kills.
The Lady Raiders travel to face Cedar Creek on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
No. 18 Cedar Park dropped its second straight match and were swept by Hutto 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-23) on the road on Tuesday. The Lady Timberwolves lost to No. 1 Rouse on Tuesday and next host No. 25 Cedar Creek at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.