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Lady Dragons eliminate Encinal

Sonoma junior all-leaguer Delaney Swanson slams home one of her 12 kills during the third-seeded SCL champion Lady Dragons NCS opening-round sweep of 14th-seeded Encinal Wednesday night in Pfeiffer Gym. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Sonoma junior all-leaguer Delaney Swanson slams home one of her 12 kills during the third-seeded SCL champion Lady Dragons NCS opening-round sweep of 14th-seeded Encinal Wednesday night in Pfeiffer Gym. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

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With their successful regular season and start to the postseason including both the Sonoma County League and SCL tournament titles for the third straight year, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity volleyball girls carried their winning ways into North Coast Section Division-3 play.

In Wednesday night’s NCS opener in Pfeiffer Gym, the third-seed Lady Dragons led from wire-to-wire in the first set and slammed visiting 14th-seed Encinal, the WACC-S champion, for a 25-10 victory.

Then suddenly in the second set, Sonoma, uncharacteristically, started playing sluggish, which enabled the Jets to gain confidence and make it a seesaw game of lead changes that put them on the threshold of stealing the set after taking a 23-22 advantage.

But the Lady Dragons finally regained their poise and showed what made them one of the top Division-3 seeds by reeling off three straight points for a 25-23 second set triumph, and carried their renewed momentum into the third set, where they cruised past Encinal for a resounding 25-10 match-winning rout.

With the win the Sonoma spikers (29-6 record) will host an all-too-familiar SCL foe for the fourth time this season in the NCS quarterfinals as 11th-seeded Analy (14-13) – having beaten sixth-seed Acalanes in its opener – comes to town for a 7 p.m. clash tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 16. in Pfeiffer Gym.

Leading the Lady Dragons past Encinal were two-time SCL player of the year junior Mackenzie Albrecht’s 26 assists and one block; junior all-leaguer Ciara Smith’s 12 kills and three blocks; junior all-leaguer Delaney Swanson’s 12 kills, two serving aces and one block; freshman all-leaguer Kiara Miles’ four kills; senior Janeth Silva’s three kills and two aces; junior all-leaguer Hannah Herrick’s three kills and one ace; frosh all-leaguer Jenna Mak’s three aces; senior Kaitlyn Boldt’s ace; and sophomore Emma Stanfield’s block – digs weren’t available at presstime.