It’s come to the point of the season where every match is win or go home.
The Kennewick Lions, who have taken the Mid-Columbia Conference by storm this season, kept their season alive Thursday with a 25-10, 25-17, 25-16 victory over Rogers in a 3A regional loser-out match at the Lions Den.
“I don’t want them to be satisfied,” Lions coach Brandy Sonderland said of her team. “Be proud, but we still have goals. Every night is senior night, and they aren’t ready for it to end.”
Kennewick will play Southridge — which swept Shadle Park on Thursday — in a loser-out match at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Spokane High School.
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With the MCC and GSL getting just two berths to the 3A state tournament, the Lions must win two more matches to punch their ticket.
“It was a good win,” said Sonderland, who was named MCC Coach of the Year. “They know they have to win three to get in (to state). This was a confidence booster.”
The Lions took charge of the first set early, taking a 12-7 lead on a kill by Monica Kaylor. The senior middle then served eight consecutive points to give Kennewick a 20-7 lead.
Rogers would tack on a couple more points before a Breanna Shaffer back-row kill won the set for the Lions.
The Pirates had a little fire under their feet in the second set, tying the set at 8-8 and keeping within two points before Kaylor unleashed three consecutive points to give the Lions a little breathing room at 19-14.
Rogers pulled within 19-17, but Shaffer laid down a devastating kill for sideout and a 20-17 lead.
Madeline Gebers served the final five points of the set for Kennewick, with Shaffer notching two kills, and Aitiana Nava and Shyann Pratt blocking Akon Aleu on set point.
The third set saw Rogers take leads of 2-1 and 4-3, and the Pirates tied the score at 11-11, but after that, it was all Kennewick.
Kaylor had a string of seven points, then had the game-winning block to send the Lions to the next round.
Shaffer, the Mid-Columbia Conference Player of the Year, led Kennewick with 17 kills, while Pratt added 11 and Kaylor nine kills and 10 digs. Gebers handed out 31 assists and Kidera Miller had 12 digs.