It’s a big challenge to beat a good team three straight times in the same season, but it’s even a more daunting task to top a team in four consecutive matches, which was the situation the Sonoma Valley High School varsity volleyball girls were facing in Saturday night’s North Coast Section Division-3 quarterfinals.
After routing visiting 14th-seeded Encinal in last Wednesday’s tournament opener, the third-seeded Sonoma County League champion Lady Dragons hosted longtime SCL rival Analy Saturday in a quarterfinal match in Pfeiffer Gym that marked the fourth meeting between the two teams.
Playing with both determination and focus on keeping their NCS ride alive, the Sonoma spikers fended off the visiting 11th-seeded Tiger girls for three sets and posted a 25-17, 25-20, 25-23 victory, while completing a 12-set, four-match sweep of Analy.
With the win, the Lady Dragons improve their overall record to 30-6 and advance to the NCS Division-3 semifinals to face their biggest challenge of the season in second-seeded Bishop O’Dowd (24-9) at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Oakland.
Adding extra importance to the semifinal matchup is that the winner not only advances to this Saturday’s, Nov. 23, NCS Division-3 championship final, but also qualifies for the NorCal playoffs and a chance to reach the state title match.