AVON, Nov. 10 – Avon High girls volleyball coach Curt Burns was trying to stay patient. The Falcons were two points away from sweeping Jonathan Law in Thursday night’s Class L tournament game. But the Falcons allowed a five-point lead to melt away to one point.
Burns didn’t want to rattle his team. His clipboard took the brunt of his anxiousness.
No. 6 Avon earned a spot in the Class L quarterfinals for the second straight year with a 3-0 sweep of the Lawmen with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-23 decision. Avon (17-5) advances to the quarterfinals on Saturday night at 6 p.m. when they will travel to Redding to face No. 3 Joel Barlow (19-3).
Avon will be looking for a berth in the semifinals for the first time since 2005 when they advanced to the Class M semifinal.
“We have to get better at closing out games,” Burns said, holding his clipboard that he snapped into two pieces. “We did play some of the best volleyball we have this year. We had some nice long rallies.”
Avon was in control for most of this match but they had lapses that allowed No. 11 Jonathan Law (16-8) to stay in the game.
The Falcons opened game two with a 7-2 run only to see Law cut the lead to one at 11-10. Avon led 17-16 before an 8-4 surge gave the Falcons game two.
Law cut Avon’s lead to one, 21-20 but a pair of serving aces from junior Maddy Hart serving put Avon in control for the victory.
In game three, Avon led for most the game and three times had leads of six points. Avon expanded their lead to seven points, 21-14, before getting a little sloppy. Several hits that sailed out of bounds and a few bad passes allowed Law to climb back into the game with a 6-3 run.
An ace cut Avon’s lead to three, 23-20 but junior Sofia Berrio had a big kill to put Avon just one point shy of winning the match at 24-20. But Law fought off three consecutive match points to pull within one point, 24-23. Avon prevailed when a Law hit went out of bounds.
Hart led Avon with 12 kills and 12 digs. Berrio had nine kills and three blocks. Erin Sutter contributed with four kills and a team-high five blocks. Grace Stevens had four kills while Rachael Carlson had a team-high 18 digs.
Victoria Abdelmalek had 10 digs while setter Audrey Worth had 23 assists.
Jonathan Law had an early 7-4 lead in game one before the Falcons went on a 17-1 run to seize control of the initial game.