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HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Permian hangs tough but falls to Midland Lee - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Permian hangs tough but falls to Midland Lee

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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 9:52 pm

There were plenty of playoff implications as the Permian volleyball team hosted Midland Lee Tuesday at the Permian Fieldhouse.

When it was all over, the Lady Rebels came away with they had set out to accomplish, defeating the Lady Panthers in four sets, 25-22, 25-11, 26-28 25-22, in District 2-6A play.

The victory clinched a playoff spot for Midland Lee (28-7 overall, 5-3 District 2-6A) with two matches left in the regular season. The lady Rebels were spurred on by 26 team blocks.

“The girls did a good job tonight,” Lee head coach Amy Long said. “We went up against a good Permian team tonight and I’m glad that our block played well and helped us win the match.”

The loss for Permian (16-20, 2-6) combined with Midland High’s victory over Odessa High Tuesday officially eliminated the Lady Panthers from playoff contention.

“Midland Lee is a tough team,” Permian head coach Gillian Herrera said. “They have a lot of great hitters and are very talented. It was a great match going up against them.”

Lauren Lucas led the Lady Panthers with 18 kills and three blocks and Noemi Marquez added six kills to go with five blocks and three aces.

Each set, with the exception of the second, was a close battle from start to finish.

The Lady Panthers built a 4-2 lead early in the first set but the Lady Rebels quickly responded with two of a match-high 21 kills from Yali Flores to even things up. Flores added 26 digs to lead the team, while her teammate Loredana Fouonji finished with seven kills and nine blocks.

Permian eventually got back up 11-9 before Lee answered with a run of five straight points to take a 14-11 lead.  The Lady Panthers rallied back to 23-22 late, but the Lady Rebels closed the set with the final two points.

“Yali is a great leader for us and is our go-to player,” Long said. “She’s solid and you can count on her to keep playing all the way to the end.”

That momentum carried over to the second set for a Lee team that jumped out to an early 6-2 lead and didn’t look back. The Lady Rebels added a separate run of seven straight points later in the set to go up 18-8 and create more distance.

Herrera challenged the Lady Panthers to show some fight in the third set and her team answered the call, jumping out to a 14-9 lead. Like the Lady Rebels had done all night, however, they responded well and crawled their way back into the match to eventually it at 17-17.

Neither team had a lead greater than two points the rest of the set but thanks in part to a block and kill from Lauren Lucas, the Panthers stayed alive to take the third set.

“It’s so much easier to play ahead,” Herrera said. “When you’re down, it’s really hard to swing hard and serve tough. We got ahead early in that third set and were able to play aggressively.”

Permian did not go away in the fourth set either. After trailing 5-0 and 14-6 at separate points, the Lady Panthers eventually came all the way back to tie it at 21-21. The comeback came up just short as Lee closed the match with a 4-1 run capped off by a Fouonji kill.

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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