Squaws reach first regional quarterfinal in 11 years



Jourdanton’s Erin Soward follows through on a shot during the regional quarterfinal against Goliad on Nov. 6. JOE DAVID CORDOVA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Jourdanton’s Erin Soward follows through on a shot during the regional quarterfinal against Goliad on Nov. 6. JOE DAVID CORDOVA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Jourdanton’s volleyball team entered a territory it rarely voyeured previously by making its first regional quarterfinals since 2007 and one of a few times it has played on that level.

Jourdanton (22-17) lost 11-25, 9-25, 17-25 to second-ranked Goliad in the regional quarterfinal at George West.

In the area playoff match at Three Rivers on Nov. 1, the Squaws beat San Diego 25-16, 25-18, 25- 20, raising their intensity for a more resounding victory than the close bi-district match against Skidmore-Tynan.

“It feels good to make history and be part of a new story,” said Erin Soward.

In vanquishing the Vaqueros, Nicole Zuhlke said the teamwork reached a high point.

“We were meshing together and working together a lot,” she said. “We were really confident in ourselves and everyone on the team.”

Soward said the Squaws’ offense operated tightly and ran smoothly. She said that made it easier than the first round.

“I think we had an easier time because the first-round nerves were out and we just had to work and get through the [area] round,” she said.

Zuhlke said that instead of thinking about earning a milestone achievement, the players had entered a mode of focusing on getting each next win.

“The pressure wasn’t there and it was just us playing ball again,” she said.

Zuhlke said the team did well when it needed to rotate on defense and its best blockers were matched up on San Diego’s best hitters.

Against San Diego, Katlyn Polasek had 11 assists, eight digs, three kills and four aces. Kameryn Guzman picked up 11 digs. Soward had four kills. Samantha Meyer had seven kills and a block. Shyanne Bauerle had nine kills and two digs. Zuhlke had eight kills and a dig. Sidney Morneau had two kills and a block. Sydney Briones had five digs. Jenna Kuykendall had 10 assists and two digs. Hannah Englemann had seven digs. Laney Harlan had four assists and three digs.

Soward said the team kept ascending during the tough non-district and through the district schedule as it built itself for the playoffs.

“Preseason was really a building opportunity for us and, although it affected our record, it prepared us tremendously,” she said. She said that going undefeated in district play helped the team build confidence to power past the first two rounds in straight sets. Prior to the regional quarterfinal, Jourdanton had only lost five sets in 12 matches since the start of district play. Zuhlke said the team continually became closer as a unit as the season progressed and it piled up wins.

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