EL DORADO — For two games Tuesday, host Union Mine was challenged by Argonaut in its first-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff volleyball match. Demonstrating resilency and determination, the Lady Diamondbacks won those 25-21, 28-26 and took the third set to oust the Mustangs.
“Our team has grown through the season and has greatly improved on our passing and defense. That will help us in the postseason and we are confident that we can go far and obtain our goal of reaching the section finals,” Union Mine coach Marti Howton said.
The passing by McKaela Vonasek and Andrea Barnes along with the blocking at the net by Sarah Phillis and Jordan Buxton all came together for the D’backs in the third and final game of the night as Union Mine won convincingly 25-15.
With the victory, Union Mine advances to the second round of the playoffs where they will go up against No. 1 seed Escalon.
Through perseverance, Union Mine prevailed in both games 1 and 2. In the opener, the D’backs and Mustangs exchanged short runs that resulted in a tight 16-15 lead for Union Mine before the D’backs established control as Buxton and Phillis combined for several blocks and Barnes had an empathetic spike to allow the home town team to go on a 6-1 run for a commanding 22-16 advantage.
The second set was a struggle for the D’backs as Union Mine trailed 22-18 and then set point at 25-24 before rallying for the win and a 2-0 advantage behind the passing of Kaitlyn Console and Kayla Heikes, with sets from Brooke Howton to Phillis, Buxton and Barnes.
“We knew that we had the ability to win that second game tonight. All we had to do was limit our mistakes and play together as a team. Once we were able to win the second game we played very well in the third game and now our team looks forward to the next round of the playoffs,”Brooke said after the match.
Once the D’backs secured the victory in the second game Union Mine took control of the match in the final set by racing to a 17-10 lead en route to the victory.