RIO VISTA – As they wrap up the first round of District 17-3A competition with two matches this week, the Clifton Lady Cub volleyball team hopes to snap a three-game skid and position themselves to make a run at a postseason berth.
Currently in a three-way tie for fourth place in district, the Lady Cubs (2-3, 15-15) visit Rio Vista (2-3, 12-12) today at 5 p.m. before hosting Whitney (4-1, 26-10) at 4:30 p.m. Friday to close out the first round of district play.
“This is a big week for us being the last week of the first round,” Clifton volleyball’s first-year head coach Paige Poth said. “It’s going to take a one big game for us to turn it around. Once the girls get going, they are a tough team to beat, but together we have to make that big game happen. There are many opportunities this week to make that big comeback, we just have to stay focused on our own goals.”
Coming off back-to-back losses to state-ranked West and Maypearl, the Lady Cubs opened strong against Grandview at home last Friday, taking the first set, 25-18. But the Lady Zebras responded by stampeding through the next two sets, winning 15-13, 25-12, before putting Clifton away, 25-19, in the fourth set.
“We played great in the first set against Grandview, but gave up too many errors in the next three sets, ” Poth said. “Defensively, we did a great job. Very proud of our blockers up front. Josephine Burke and Carley Caniford did a great job slowing down their offense.”
Senior Josephine Burke led the Lady Cubs with four blocks, followed by freshman Carley Caniford with three. Sophomore Ava Anderson delivered a team-high 13 kills, junior Bailey Ledbetter offered 21 assists, and senior Audrey Anderson provided a team-high 23 digs, followed by Ava Anderson with 15 and Ledbetter with 13.
In other District 17-3A action today, Whitney hits the road to take on fifth-ranked West (5-0, 29-4), Keene (1-4, 3-14) hosts 12th-ranked Maypearl (4-1, 25-7), and Grandview (2-3, 15-12) visits Harmony Science Academy (0-5).
“I honestly believe that the district will be a fight to the finish,” Poth said. “I think every team will match up and put up a good fight. I think we will do great things this season, and our focus right now is making the playoffs. And we have to keep the mentality that the next game, whoever our opponent is, is the most important game.”
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
©2019 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.