The Airline Lady Vikings are the District 1, Division I volleyball champions.
Airline defeated Caddo Magnet 25-20, 25-9, 25-6 Thursday night on Senior Night at Airline in the regular-season finale. The Lady Vikings completed their district schedule 13-1, one game ahead of defending champion Ruston. The Lady Bearcats closed the regular season with a three-set victory over Northwood.
As the first- and second-place teams, Airline (17-6) and Ruston (19-7) automatically qualify for the 24-team Division I playoffs, which begin Tuesday. Official pairings with be announced Sunday.
Going into the Magnet game, Airline stood at No. 17 in the Division I power rankings, which determine playoff seedings. If that stands, the Lady Vikings will travel to Lafayette to play No. 16 Acadiana (16-12) in the first round.
This is only the third year Airline has fielded a varsity volleyball team. The Lady Vikings won 11 games last year after winning just five in their first season in 2014.
Airline got off to a shaky start against Magnet. Several of the Lady Vikings’ first attempts at kill shots went deep. After settling down they dominated the final two sets. Many points ended with service winners or outright aces. The Lady Vikings also took advantage of their power at the net while mixing in soft touch shots.
Freshman Gabby Patronis had 10 aces, four kills, one assists and four digs. Senior Ashley Haigler had four aces, four kills, 12 assists and one dig.
Sophomore Kate Blancaflor had six aces, seven assists and one dig. Junior Kaylea Noble had one ace, one kill, four blocks, one assist and two digs.
Senior Haylea Patterson had two aces, five kills and three digs. Aspen Oliver had four kills and one assist.
Seniors Lauren Pilcher and Cassie Bailey also contributed to the victory with their play. They also played big roles throughout the season in the drive to the district title.
The Haughton Lady Bucs closed their season with a four-set loss to Captain Shreve on Thursday at Shreve. The Lady Bucs lost the first two sets 25-16, 25-15. The rallied to win the third set 25-21 before losing a tight fourth 25-23.
Haughton finished 11-10 overall and 6-8 in district.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com