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John L. Braese
ADRIAN – Lauren Barraza, Anna Hutchings and Carlee Morton were playing their final games as seniors. The Speelmons were a junior and sophomore. Morgan Bayes and Shyanne Allaire were looking forward to their senior year. Roby Young, Grace Morton and Grace Nichols were lowly sophomores.
This was the group of Adrian volleyball players who last made it to quarterfinal action in the 1A state tournament in 2016-until now.
With a 3-0 win over North Douglas on Saturday, Oct. 28 in the Adrian gym, this year’s squad is packing and heading to Redmond for quarterfinal action. The Lopes face Crane in quarterfinal action starting at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3 at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
“We have made it to the second round but were always on the road and fell,” said Adrian coach Aimee Esplin. “Hosting in our own gym this year against North Douglas is a major factor in us going forward to the quarters.”
The Warriors were ready to play, scoring the first three points of the match in the first set. The Antelopes led briefly at the 6-5 mark but North Douglas took the lead for good at 7-6 and went on to a 25-22 victory.
“We came out really flat in the first set,” Esplin said. “I was proud of how the girls bounced back and stayed with it in this match.”
The second set was all Adrian with the Lopes leading from the first serve. Down 14-22, the Warrior’s coach called a timeout and attempted to regroup to no avail as Adrian tied up the match with a 25-14 win.
The third set saw the two teams trade the lead early in the set before Adrian took the lead for good at the 8-7 mark. From there, the Antelopes cruised to a 25-18 victory.
The Warriors led early in the fourth set with Adrian finally knotting up the score at five points. The Antelopes never looked back from that point and a final kill from Addy Martin closed out the match with a 25-17 home win, securing a trip to Redmond.
Adrian hopes to improve on that 2016 showing where the Lopes finished third in the state tournament.
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