KINGSBURG – The Kingsburg High volleyball team won the third leg of the Viking girls sports triumvirate on Tuesday, downing Strathmore 3-0.

The scores of the Central Section quarterfinal match were 26-24, 25-22, 25-17.

The top-seeded Vikings now advance to the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to meet No. 5 seed Immanuel.

“I’m so excited,” Kingsburg sophomore middle blocker Olivia Doyle said. “It’s a good feeling to make the semifinals.(Kingsburg) could have a lot of teams win Valley.”

Even before the volleyball team took the court, the Viking girls tennis team defeated host Firebaugh 6-3 to win the program's first section title. Then No. 1-seed Kingsburg girls polo took to the pool to rout Mission Oak 18-2 to advance to Thursday’s 4:30 championship match at Kingsburg against No. 2 seed Sierra Pacific. 

Finally, the Viking volleyball team took the court and eked out a two-point Set 1 win with a Jessi Swenning kill and a Strathmore error. 

It was a tough set, but no sooner had the Vikings won than that old Bachman Turner Overdrive standard “Takin’ Care of Business” was pouring out of the gymnasium speakers. Soon, Kingsburg was on its way to another girls’ sports victory and another run at a section title.

“We played really well as a team,” Viking sophomore defensive specialist Anika Protzmann said. “We played some points better than others, but we were able to push through and not get down.”

The teams were tied at 21 in Set 2 when Kingsburg took control. The Vikings won four of the next five points to capture the see-saw battle, won by a ringing Karen Rodriguez kill.

“All year long we’ve been able to win big points when we had to,” Kingsburg coach David Light said. “This match was no exception. We were a little timid at first, but then we got in a rhythm. Strathmore had one of the best defensive  teams we’ve seen all year.”

The energy level dropped in the crowded  gym for Set 3, with Kingsburg just about on cruise control and Strathmore a bit shell-shocked. The Vikings took an early led and were still ahead, 23-18, when they flexed their muscles to end it – gratis of a Jennah Torres kill that caromed off the ground and hit the scoreboard and still another match-winning dagger by Rodriguez.

Rodriguez paced the Vikings with 11 kills, one ace and 24 digs. Also for Kingsburg, Karlee Hodges had nine digs; Erin Bishop 18 assists and three digs; Kate Jackson nine digs; Doyle one ace, five kills and three blocks; Kaitlyn Freeman three kills and two blocks; Torres one ace, eight kills and 18 digs; Swenning one ace, five kills, five blocks and three digs; Peyton Woods one kill; Kassidy Wilson two aces, three kills, one block, 14 assists and eight digs; and Protzmann three digs.

Now it’s onto the semis for the Vikings, who will share the spotlight Thursday with the polo team shooting for a Valley title and the football team which takes the field at 7:30 p.m. for a Central Section Division III opening-round game against Chowchilla.

“Fans are going to need to get there early to find a parking spot,” Light said with a smile. “I might get here early myself.”

John Murphy can be reached at 583-2413 or jmurphy@hanfordsentinel.com.

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