YAKIMA - The Sunnyside High School volleyball team punched its ticket to Regionals with a 3-2 win over Hanford at Districts last night, Tuesday.
Playing at West Valley High School, the Lady Grizzlies prevailed 25-22, 25-18, 14-25, 9-25, 19-17.
Coach Mikal Aberle said Sunnyside started strong from the outset, opening game one with six straight aces served by Lani Ramos.
"She also had a crucial ace later to help us win," said Aberle.
Jill Spini was strong at the net in game one, recording three of her five blocks for the match.
The service area of play also helped Sunnyside in game two as Melissa Amaro jumpstarted the Lady Grizzlies with four service points in a row.
Things went south for Sunnyside in games three and four, though, after Hanford served for nine consecutive points in the third game.
"My girls were tired, they felt defeated," Aberle said of her team at that point.
With a Regional berth on the line, Sunnyside found its second wind in the fifth game.
"We decided that we earned this match and we were going to leave it all on the floor," said Aberle.
Sunnyside had two chances to win the decisive game before finally sealing the deal with two consecutive points.
"My girls were not used to playing such an intense game," Aberle said. "They stuck it out and pushed two points in a row and won. It felt so good to have a win...it's been awhile."
Kiana Ramos had seven kills for Sunnyside, while Lani Ramos served seven aces. Melissa Amaro dished out 27 assists and hustled for 18 digs for the Lady Grizzlies, while Hannah Marro had three blocks and Jessie Robert collected 33 digs.
In other District play yesterday, Sunnyside lost to host West Valley 3-0. The Rams prevailed 25-4, 25-13, 25-9.
Ayla Schmick had three kids and three touch blocks for Sunnyside, whilte teammates Savanna Martinez and Emily Meyer had 17 digs and two kills, respectively.
The Lady Grizzlies (2-14) now travel to Hanford this Saturday, where at 11 a.m. they will face the third place team from the Greater Spokane League.