KELLER — Sylvia Ortiz insists her team's defense will be the key in a final run at a share of the District 4-5A title.
After struggling in that same regard Tuesday, her Keller squad escaped Keller Timber Creek, 25-21, 17-25, 25-23, 25-16 to firm up second place in district, but left some question marks for the final stretch.
"If we can't pass the ball, we're going to struggle," Ortiz said. "Passing is everything and we didn't do it well tonight."
What the Indians did do was chip away at Timber Creek at the net. Julie Haake had 13 kills and Janelle Giordano had seven kills and three blocks.
Despite the effort, clearly Timber Creek was fighting an uphill battle with two regulars on the bench due to injury.
Outside hitter Lauren Mills made up the bulk of Creek's offense with 18 kills and two blocks, but she couldn't be everywhere on the floor.
That's when Haake went to work for Keller. She chipped in seven kills in the final two sets and the Indians scored six serving aces in that stretch as well to close it out.
Timber Creek made it interesting in set two with a dominating 25-17 win. Mills hammered away with four kills and a block to lead the way.
In set three the Falcons fell behind by as much as four points, but rallied at one point tie the game and stay close.
Katherine Martin had 27 digs and Ashley Brakel had 19 as defensive-minded Joshua solidified its second-place position in district with a 25-22, 16-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-11 win over Burleson.
It was Joshua's first win over Burleson since Craig Bethel became head coach four years ago.
"I'm not even sure we've ever beaten them," he said. "We've been working so hard because they set the standard and we finally put it together."
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