East Valley 6A volleyball teams advance to area round

It’s playoff time for Class 5A and 6A volleyball teams across the state, and several East Valley squads came up with big wins to move on to Round 2.

The District 32-6A teams performed well in the bi-district round, advancing three of four playoff qualifiers to area, which kicks off this week.

Brownsville Rivera, the undefeated district champions and Texas Girls Coaches Association No. 24 team in Class 6A, swept PSJA High 25-22, 25-16, 25-12 on Friday to add bi-district champion to its success this season. The Lady Raiders will battle San Antonio Harlan in Round 2 at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Corpus Christi Carroll.

Lady Raiders coach Elizabeth Avelar-Guerra said libero Richelle Guerra and Alondra Guzman played well in the back row to anchor Rivera’s defense, and Guerra’s hard serve resulted in aces and shanked passes to help her team come back when trailing.

Avelar-Guerra praised setter Clarissa Olivares with doing “an awesome job” making adjustments despite the referee being generous with double-touch calls to run the offense, led by Kenya Ibarra and Christina Garza, efficiently.

“The girls did really good not losing their cool, because at one point we were down by, like, four or five points late in the first game,” Avelar-Guerra said. “The girls didn’t fall apart and fought back and won, and then settled down in the next games. It was a good fight, and the girls showed a lot of character. They were hitting well, digging everything, playing together as a team and they just did really good.”

Third-place finisher Harlingen High battled back to defeat Edinburg North in five sets, 22-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-5 on Thursday. Hard-hitting Juli Bryant helped the Lady Cardinals erase a two-set deficit to move on to the area round, where they’ll face Laredo United at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Roma.

Harlingen South won a play-in match against Brownsville Hanna on Monday in five sets to clinch the district’s No. 4 seed. The Lady Hawks swept District 31-6A champion Mission High on the road Saturday, 25-20, 25-15, 25-16, to win their third straight bi-district championship. They’ll face San Antonio Warren in Round 2 at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Corpus Christi Ray.

Los Fresnos was the district runner-up and dropped a hard-fought, five-set match to Edinburg High, 25-23, 13-25, 27-25, 14-25, 21-19, on Friday to end its season.

The Brownsville Veterans Memorial Lady Chargers went 10-0 in District 32-5A’s Zone B to punch their ticket to the district title match scheduled for Nov. 14 against Edcouch-Elsa, but it was canceled due to COVID-19 issues and the teams conceded to be co-champions.

Brownsville Veterans won a coin toss to get the No. 1 playoff seed, but the Lady Chargers lost to McAllen High 22-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-10 on Friday at home.

Brownsville Lopez advanced to the postseason as the No. 3 seed in 32-5A and lost 25-13, 25-21, 25-15 to McAllen Rowe on Friday.