The Clear Falls Knights needed only three sets to take care of the Pearland Lady Oilers in the bi-district round of the playoffs on Tuesday night at Phillips Field House in Pasadena.
The Knights won by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-16.
“We were able to keep the flow going even if they made some errors or let Pearland get ahead,” said Clear Falls head coach Lyndsay Hodges. “We managed to play well and just stay in a flow.”
Briana Garcia had 18 kills for the Knights while Mia Johnson had 13 and Brianna Daphnis had six.
Sam Demmon had nine kills to lead the Oilers while Bailey Graves had six. Graves also had three blocks for the Knights.
“We knew it was going to be a tough matchup,” said Pearland head coach Christian Dunn. “Lyndsay Hodges does a great job with her team and they played great tonight. They have strong players and we knew they were going to use that Briana Garcia player tonight. We started off slow. We felt like we didn’t start off fast. We didn’t get there fast enough.”
The Knights had a strong showing in the first set, before Pearland kept it close in the second set.
However, Clear Falls managed to take control for the majority of the third set and finish the night on a strong note.
“That was our goal,” Hodges said. “We wanted to start strong and then end strong. How we started was going to be our pace and we stuck with that game plan.”
The Knights cruised to a 12-6 lead in the first set, capitalizing off strong play at the net and errors by the Oilers.
A block by Rachel Brown gave the Knights a 10-point advantage at 16-6 when the Oilers took a timeout.
The Oilers responded with a 2-0 run, capped with a kill by Victoria Kenney.
A block by Rachel Brown made it 17-8 soon after.
The Knights had a little trouble closing out the first set, before Daphnis used a kill to help Clear Falls on a 2-1 run to enter the second set.
Consecutive blocks by Jordan Dortch helped set the tone early for the Knights in the second set.
Johnson’s kill was sandwiched in the middle of a Pearland run.
It wasn’t long before the Oilers found themselves on a 3-0 run and in front at 11-8 when the Knights took a timeout.
The Knights were able to battle back and soon took a 19-17 lead before Pearland called a timeout as both teams kept going back and forth throughout the second set.
“I think we got comfortable in the second set but we let that set get away from us a little bit in the end,” said Dunn. “It is what it is. We’re a young team.”
Clear Falls went on a 6-2 run to end the second set with a 2-0 advantage.
“Pearland stepped up its intensity and we expected them to be a little different in that second set,” Hodges said. “My girls had to make some adjustments. We got comfortable in the beginning before we had to adjust and we were able to do that.”
The Knights started the third game on a 4-0 surge before the Oilers could get their first point of the set.
Garcia’s kill made it 6-1 soon after for Clear Falls.
Coming out of a timeout, the Oilers committed an error that only put them in a deeper hole.
But Pearland managed to eat at the Knights’ lead, closing the gap to 14-9.
However, it didn’t last long and the Knights managed to end the night on a strong note to advance to area.
“Our intensity and level of communication was important tonight,” Hodges said. “We didn’t get quiet on the court tonight. They were talking and they were pushing each other.”
Clear Falls will take on Kingwood in the area round.