After an exciting and emotional win Friday night in the regional semifinals, the Aledo High School volleyball season ended Saturday afternoon in the regional final when No.1 Amarillo defeated the No. 10 Ladycats, 19-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-15 at Kimbrell Arena in Abilene.
The Ladycats finish the season with an overall record of 39-9. With the win, Amarillo will advance to the state tournament.
“Amarillo is a very good team,” Ladycats head coach Kathy Goings said. “We started out strong and got on a roll in the first game, but once they figured out what our hitters were doing they got back in the match and finished strong.”
The regional final was also the final high school volleyball match for Ladycats seniors Maddie Goings, Erin Weiss, Emily Smith, Amanda Norman, Brecken Roquemore and Lyxi Blaker.
“I feel for the seniors that they won’t get to end their high school volleyball careers at the state tournament,” Goings said. “But any time you reach the regional tournament it has been a good season.”
The Ladycats came out aggressive in game one, jumping out to a 10-4 lead. The lead grew to 17-6 after a combination block from Sarah Haeussler and Brecken Roquemore and an ace from Erin Weiss.
Later in the opening game, a kill each by Emily Smith and Maddie Goings extended the lead to 23-17, and the Ladycats got to game point on the next rally when Amarillo was called for a double-contact violation.
Three rallies later, the Lady Sandies were called for another return violation as Aledo won the game 25-19 to take a 1-0 lead in games.
Aledo led 11-9 in game two before Amarillo went on a 14-4 run to take a 23-15 lead. The Lady Sandies squared the match at a game each when hitter Abby Warner sent down a kill to give the Lady Sandies a 25-18 win.
Aledo scored the first point of game three but never had the lead again. Amarillo led 11-8 and 16-12 and maintained a 4-6-point cushion for the rest of the game and again won 25-18 to take a 2-1 lead in games.
The Ladycats never enjoyed a lead in game four. The game was tied 1-1, but Amarillo followed with a 6-2 run for a 7-3 advantage. The Ladycats kept it close, and after a kill by Goings the Ladycats cut the lead to 8-6.
However, Amarillo went on a 12-5 run – thanks in part to two kills each by hitters Emerson Solomon, Kenedy Warrick and Chloe Robinson – to take a 20-11 lead.
A kill by Amanda Norman and a pair of kills from Goings cut the Lady Sandies’ lead to 21-14, but Amarillo followed with a 3-2 run to bring game four to match point.
On the ensuing rally, Robinson sent down a kill to end the match as Amarillo advances to the state tournament.