Home Sports Local Sports Demons take District 4-3A tourney championship

Demons take District 4-3A tourney championship

The Dexter Lady Demon volleyball team followed up their perfect undefeated run through regular district play with an emphatic: 30-28, 25-19, 25-16 sweep over runner-up Loving inside raucous Lewis Gym to claim the District 4 title. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

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DEXTER – The Dexter Lady Demon volleyball team followed up their perfect undefeated run through regular district play with an emphatic 30-28, 25-19, 25-16 sweep over district runner-up Loving inside raucous Lewis Gym to claim the district 4 tourney title. The win gives the 3rd-ranked Demons their second straight tourney championship and their 10th straight victory heading into next week’s state tourney

The Demons used a lot of attacks by the senior duo of Bryana Munoz and Madison Bogle while limiting the Lady Falcons’ big hitters in defeating the visitors for the third time this year.

“I felt like it is always to beat a team three times and Loving is very improved,” stated a happy coach Andy Luikens. “They passed well and so we really had to fight. I thought the girls were really up for the challenge and I thought they did a really good job.”

Game one was very close throughout as both teams were hitting away. The hosts got off to a quick 4-1 lead as Munoz got four kills from the same spot all from spot-on sets from Darcie Regalado. That combo would continue work early in the initial set as the lead would grow to 6-3.

The Demons would maintain the lead at 11-7 following a punch from Bogle, but the Falcons would not go away as the Demon errors would mount as Loving would eventually tie it with a 4-0 run. A big blast from Allyson Madden would stop the run, but both teams would battle on even terms tied at 17-all.

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The Demons would start to pull away a little late as a service winner from Marlou Blankvoort would make it 20-18 and, following a Falcon timeout, Munoz would get the clean kill down the middle for a 21-18 advantage.

The Demons would go up 23-20 following yet another Bogle kill and 24-20 following yet another Munoz kill, but Andrica Gomez’ kill would avoid set point and three errors later it was tied at 24-all.

In the ensuing chaos, the Demons would go up 25-24 following a Munoz kill only to see them lose the lead at 27-26. The Demons would get a Bogle kill around the block to avoid the set loss and then break from a 28-all tie to win 30-28 after two final Bogle kills.

Coach Luikens was relieved to get the big set one win. “You don’t want to go down 1-0. It has happened multiple times in district that I feel we almost steal a game that we may have shouldn’t have won. And, if you don’t win that game, momentum changes and things could happen. I really trust in our girls and feel confident in them – in years past I may have been a little more concerned losing game one – but this group I feel really good about that we would be able to bounce back.”

Set two was similar to the initial one as Munoz got three early kills to make it 4-1, but Loving would battle back and take their first lead at 6-5. The Falcons’ hitters started to hit their spots as they used three dinks early in the set to gain a 7-7 tie.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, the tie would be the last for them as the Demons started to set Bogle and it paid off as she got three kills – two down the line and one cross-court to make it 11-8 and give the home team a decided momentum advantage.

Regalado started to direct the offense around to all of her teammates as Munoz, Bogle, and Madden twice would all get kills and then Regalado would score on a dink to make it 15-11. Loving would make one last run as they would get the lead down to 17-16, but that would be it.

Blankvoort would serve three straight that caused Falcon passing errors that would give the Demons a cushy 20-16 edge. Two dinks down the stretch by Munoz and a final hitting error would give the win to Dexter 25-19.

Set three would prove to be the last as the hosts jumped out to a big 7-1 lead and maintain that edge throughout.

The Falcons (15-7 and ranked 6th) would get as close as five at 13-8, but Bogle’s kill would sap any possible momentum from Loving in their attempt to come back. The visitors would cut the lead to four a bit later, but a kill and ace from Munoz stopped that possible run as the Demons would coast to the 25-16 win.

“We really ride them a lot,” said Luikens of the play of Munoz and Bogle. “They’re good. I was pleased with Alyssa Madden as she took a little pressure off of them and she got a couple of good swings in there. But, Bri and Maddie are our go-to’s and they might try to stop one and the other one comes around. I was real proud of both of them.”

The Demons (15-6) now advance to the state tourney on Thursday with pool play slated to begin at 8 am at Cleveland and Rio Rancho High School. Coach Luikens and his squad are looking to make a positive run in Rio Rancho. “They (Texcio) have gotten us twice this year but we have played them tough and we have a few games before that, but, that’s our plan. We plan on playing them in the state title match. There are a quite a few good teams up there that we will have to get through, but they have it in them and we are going to have to play some really good matches.”

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