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Volleyball playoff run ends with loss to Clear Falls

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Sports

VBvsFalls 1IN SPORTS
The Lady Deer Volleyball team’s postseason run came to an end with a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Clear Falls Tuesday night. The 22-6A district champs finish the 2017 campaign with an overall record of 26-10 and a perfect district mark of 14-0. Click on the images for a gallery of the action from Deer Park Photos!

VBvsFalls 2Deer Park's Emma Aillet (10) goes up for a return during the team's 3-0 loss to Clear Falls in the Regional Quarterfinal round. Click on the images for a gallery of the action from Deer Park Photos. Photos by Andrew Pressley.Deer Park Volleyball’s magical postseason run ended Tuesday night with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-19 loss to Clear Falls in Pasadena.

The Lady Knights took control early in the match, running off a 6-1 rally to open the first set. After a Deer Park timeout, the Lady Deer settled in, cutting the lead to 22-19 late in the set, but could get no closer.

Head Coach Cortni Cox said the team didn’t panic after dropping the first set.

“We had been in this position before. We lost the first set last week against (Clear) Creek, so we were still confident,” she said. “We thought we would be OK.”

In the second set, the emotions ran high as both teams ran the gamut of long volleys and struggled to firmly grasp momentum.

Deer Park’s edge ran to 12-7, but a Clear Falls rally tied the second set at 15. With momentum finally going its way, Falls ran off with a 25-20 second set win.

The third set was a back-and-forth battle early on as the Lady Deer fought to keep alive the team’s playoff run. Deer Park took four consecutive points to open an 11-8 lead, but Clear Falls finished the match on a 17-8 run to put away the Lady Deer.

“I feel like we played really good defense tonight and did a great job of going after everything,” said Cox. “It turned out we needed to work on blocking.”

Despite the disappointment of the playoff exit, Cox said she was proud that the Lady Deer were a true team rather than having just one star player which everyone rallied around.

“We played with so much heart and we played as six on the floor. We didn’t have one go-to player. We have a great bench that plays great and does their job,” she said.

The match also marked the end for seniors Ally Combs, Raney Wesley, Morgan Railey, Alysse Harrell, Kylee Shirley, Emma Aillet and Emily Kent.

Cox lauded their leadership and devotion to the program.

“They are such a great group and came such a long way. We had our ups and downs on the season, but they never gave up on the younger kids. They were always there for them,” said Cox. “They are role models to the younger players and they depended on the younger players as well.”

Cox said she told her seniors that this playoff loss does not define the seniors’ season or Deer Park volleyball careers.

“We did great things together and there’s a lot to be proud of,” she said.

The program will return a strong corps that will include Phoebe Stigen, Courtney Plocheck, Hannah Baker, McKenzie Morvant, Peyton Nance and Hope Hawthorne.

That group gained valuable experience over the year.

“They got so much experience this year. They all play in club and in high school together. We’re disappointed tonight, but our future is bright,” she said.