WHITEHOUSE — Thanks in large part to a dominant defense, the Sabine volleyball team is regional quarterfinal-bound.

The Lady Cardinals swept Elkhart 25-14, 25-20, 25-18 in Thursday's area match, turning away seemingly every Elkhart attack time after time.

Jordan Baker led Sabine with 10 kills, 13 assists, 11 digs, and two aces while Kylie Baker added seven kills, two blocks, and 10 digs. Haley Stuart had seven kills, four blocks, and two aces, and Emily Ivins 12 assists, seven digs, and a match-high six aces.

Sabine (38-5) moves on to face New Diana in a Class 2A Region III quarterfinal match next week. New Diana beat Kirbyville in four games Thursday in Lufkin.

Sabine also got four kills and 16 digs from Tylia Sylestine, along with four kills and four blocks from Ann York. Brittany Terry added three kills and two blocks.

Courtney Cheatham and Robin Grant each finished with five kills to lead the Elkhart attack, while Ryan Grimsley finished with four. Paige Huff had 15 assists.

After a dominant win by Sabine in Game 1, the Lady Cardinals jumped to a 5-1 lead in Game 2 and appeared ready to pull away again. But the Lady Elks showed their resilience and tied the match 9-9 before he teams traded runs. Sabine staged a 5-0 spurt for a 20-13 lead, but Elkhart tied it with a seven-point run spurred by a Courtney Cheatham kill.

Elkhart couldn’t hold the momentum. Sabine ended the game on a 5-0 run, which started when on an Elkhart service error with the score tied 20-20. After that, the mistakes piled up for the Lady Elks and Sabine didn’t have to register a kill to close out the game for a 2-0 match advantage.

Sabine opened Game 3 fast once again, taking a 5-0 lead. Every time Elkhart made a run to get within two or three points, Sabine answered. One rally in particular seemed to encapsulate the whole match into a single point.

With Sabine up 19-13, the teams began going back and forth. Every time one of the Elkhart big hitters connected on a solid spike, a Sabine defender was on the other side waiting or it. Eventually, Sabine won the point and that seemed to take what was left of the wind out of the Lady Elks’ sails.