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Lady Leopards win 1A East, finish unbeaten in league
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Lady Leopards win 1A East, finish unbeaten in league

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Wells Lady Leopards — 2019 1A East League Champions

The Wells volleyball team celebrates an undefeated season in 1A East play following a four-set win over Eureka on Oct. 25, in Wells. The East No. 1 Lady Leopards will face No. 4 South Beaver Damn during the regional tournament at 6:20 p.m. Friday, in Alamo.

EUREKA — The Lady Leopards finished the regular season at home, Wells making its final match in front of its fans count.

In four sets, Wells closed its 1A East slate on Oct. 25 with a perfect record.

The Lady Leopards placed the outcome in their favor early, winning the first set against Eureka by a double-digit margin of 25-14.

However, the Lady Vandals bounced back and evened the match with a 25-18 victory in the second set.

“The second set, we made simple defensive errors that let them get ahead. The girls battled personally with their own mistakes,” said Wells coach Cody Kulinsky.

The third set is often the deciding frame when the first-two games are split, and Wells was stellar in the third during the regular-season finale — rattling off a 25-7 domination.

“We regrouped, refocused and set a higher goal. The girls came out and dominated the set, offensively and defensively,” Kulinsky said.

Wells made a pair of four-point service runs and a six-point run by senior Jackie Berumen.

In the fourth set, the Lady Vandals played well early — opening a 10-3 lead.

After a timeout by Kulinsky, Eureka still managed to score the next three-points.

The Lady Leopards began a hellacious comeback, slicing the deficit to four at 17-13 — Berumen serving for three points — eventually tying the game at 20-all with what Kulinsky called a “smart-placed kill” and serves by junior Megan Morgan.

“The team worked the hardest they ever have,” she said.

Following a Eureka timeout, Morgan served four points in a row.

The Lady Vandals got the ball back and scored two points — making the tally 24-22 — but Kulinsky said Wells’ serve-receive and defense “ended it with a bang.”

“I have never been more proud of these girls to pull hearts and emotions together to fight and not let go of being undefeated,” Kulinsky said.

Morgan served 15-for-17 with four aces in an all-around effort, finishing with five kills and four assists.

Berumen led the attack beyond the end line with seven aces — serving 24-for-27 — adding three kills and a block.

Sophomore Jasmin Garcia served 9-for-10 with five aces and drove five kills.

Freshman Jillian Rodriguez served 11-for-12 with a pair of aces, tying for the team high with five kills and a block.

Senior Aubrey Durant — in front of the Wells crowd for the final time — finished with two aces, a team-high 13 assists and a block of her own.

Senior Vanessa Solis put away three shots and blocked another, sophomore Kalee Higbee adding one kill.

1A South-East Regional Tournament

The Lady Leopards locked down the 1A East No. 1 seed with a 10-0 record and will face No. 4 South Beaver Dam at 6:20 p.m. Friday, at Pahranagat Valley High School, in Alamo.

East No. 2 Owyhee (7-3 in league) will play South No. 3 Beatty at 4:40 p.m. Friday.

Eureka (7-3 in league) lost the tiebreaker to the Lady Braves and closed with the East No. 3 seed, taking on South No. 2 Pahranagat Valley at 3 p.m. Friday.

Jackpot (4-6 in league) earned the East No. 4 seed with a pair of victories over both McDermitt and Carlin, the Lady Jaguars closing the first round of the regional tourney with an 8 p.m. Friday tip versus South No. 1 Green Valley Christian.

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Related to this story

The Wells volleyball team dug out a five-set win Wednesday over Owyhee, the Lady Leopards improving to 9-0 in the Division 1A East. Wells will look for an undefeated season in league play at 4 p.m. Friday versus the Lady Vandals (7-2 in league) in Eureka. 

After an up-and-down start to the season, the Wells volleyball team has been clicking — including a win over the defending state champion — and rolling along to an unbeaten record in league play. On Wednesday, the Lady Leopards swept the Lady Jaguars, in Jackpot, giving Wells seven victories in its last-eight matches and four-consecutive wins.

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