Volleyball: Sonoma Valley defeats Analy, advances to SCL tournament finals

By ALLIE COLOSKY
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma Valley's Mackenzie Albrecht sets during Tuesday's match against Analy. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Sonoma Valley’s Mackenzie Albrecht sets during Tuesday’s match against Analy. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

SONOMA — Sonoma Valley and Analy battled Tuesday night in a scrappy first-round match of the Sonoma County League championship volleyball tournament, and it was the Dragons who swept the Tigers 25-23, 25-17, 25-17.

“Volleyball is a game of momentum and that momentum is crucial,” Sonoma Valley coach Chelsea Scott said. “They (Analy) thrive on their energy and we managed to hang in there and come back with more energy and finesse.”

See the girls in action here

The first set of this high-energy match was a continuous trade-off, as both teams swapped the lead multiple times. The Dragons finally held off the Tigers’ rally and took the set 25-23.

Mackenzie Albrecht led Sonoma Valley with 33 assists, eight digs, five kills and four aces. Delaney Swanson recorded 11 kills, 10 digs and two blocks, while Kiara Miles and Hannah Herrick added eight and five kills, respectively.

Sonoma kept its composure in the fast-tempo game, Albrecht said. The Dragons learned from their sole league loss to Petaluma and are hoping for a turnaround in the postseason, she said.

“Overall our energy was really good tonight,” Albrecht said. “We can’t be lackadaisical. We’re learning that we can’t be complacent.”

Both teams scrapped together longer rallies in the second set, but it was Sonoma Valley that capitalized on a Analy errors to win 25-17.

“They came out ready to fight,” Analy coach Holly Folendorf said. “We were just trying to take care of the very first ball so that we could create opportunities at the net for our hitters.”

Analy was led by outside hitter Sina Fuiava, who finished with 13 kills, 19 digs and an ace, but it was the team’s passing that provided one of the few highlights for the Tigers on Tuesday.

“Our passing gave (us) the opportunities to connect,” Folendorf said.

Abby Groth finished with 14 assists for the Tigers. Lexi Mudd added 16 digs.

The Dragons carried their momentum into the third and final set, reaching their biggest lead of the match at 20-10. The Tigers kept scratching and tried to rally, but Sonoma Valley eventually prevailed 25-17 to put the finishing touches on its first-round win.

“Our girls are really good at staying focused, while still having fun,” Scott said.

With the win, the Dragons will play host to Petaluma — the team that handed them their only league loss — in Thursday’s championship match. The Trojans on Tuesday defeated Healdsburg 15-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-19.

Meanwhile, the Tigers will need to refocus for the North Coast Section playoffs.

“The amount of care that these girls have for each other is amazing,” Folendorf said. “If we can continue that into the postseason, we’d really like to keep it going.”

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