The Airline Lady Vikings clinched a share of the District 1, Division I volleyball title with a thrilling five-set victory over the Ruston Lady Bearcats on Tuesday night in Ruston.
Airline improved to 16-6 overall and 12-1 in district with only Thursday night’s home game against Caddo Magnet left in the regular season. Defending champion Ruston dropped to 18-7 and 11-2.
Airline will win the title outright with a victory over Magnet. The Lady Vikings defeated the Lady Mustangs 25-7, 25-7 and 25-11 in the teams’ first district game on Oct. 4. Ruston closes the regular season against Northwood, a team the Lady Bearcats defeated in straight sets on Oct. 4.
At Ruston, Airline lost the first set 25-17 and then evened the match with a 25-19 victory in the second. Ruston dominated the third set, 25-14. The Lady Vikings won a tense fourth set 25-23 to make it two sets apiece. Airline then took the match with a 15-13 victory in the tie-breaking fifth set.
“It was a total team effort to get the big win,” Airline coach Regina Digilormo said in a text message. “I’m truly impressed by this group of Lady Vikings and their performance tonight. They did not let adverse situations define their outcome, but allowed them to fuel an inner drive to compete. Their performance against an outstanding team will be one I’ll remember forever.”
Airline setter Kate Blancaflor had one ace, 13 assists and 17 digs. Outside hitter Haylea Patterson had two aces, eight kills and 13 digs. Middle hitter Kaylea Noble had six kills and five blocks.
Airline avenged a four-set home loss to Ruston on Sept. 29.
Elsewhere, Haughton picked up a district victory over Northwood, defeating the Lady Falcons in four sets, 12-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-15. According to MaxPreps, Mikala Delgado was named Haughton’s Player of the Match.
Haughton lost a tough five-set match at Evangel Christian Monday night. After losing the first set, the Lady Bucs rebounded to win the second 25-20. The Lady Eagles took the third set 25-20, but Haughton sent the match into the fifth-set tiebreaker with a 25-22 victory in the fourth. Evangel eked out a 16-14 victory in the fifth.
Haughton (11-9, 6-7) closes the season Thursday at Captain Shreve.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org