Aledo senior hitter Maddie Goings slammed down a match-high 25 kills and defensively added 25 digs to help lead the Ladycats to a 25-20, 25-15, 25-22 victory over Grapevine Tuesday night in a regional quarterfinals volleyball match at Keller Fossil Ridge High School.
The win advances the Ladycats (38-8) to the Class 5A regional tournament in Abilene. Aledo will face Canyon Randall in a regional semifinals match at 7 p.m. Friday at Kimbrell Arena on the campus of McMurry University. Boswell and top-ranked Amarillo will play at 5 p.m. Friday.
“The girls looked like they were having a good time out there,” Ladycats head coach Kathy Goings said. “They never looked worried, and instead they looked focused and confident. They are playing at a level now in the playoffs you would expect from a team that qualified for a regional tournament.
“I was proud of the girls. They blocked well, hit well, passed and set well and played pretty good defense.”
Senior setter Erin Weiss also had a productive match with a match-high 43 assists and 11 digs. Senior middle Emily Smith finished with nine kills, and senior outside hitter Amanda Norman added eight kills.
Also defensively, junior libero Allegra Rivas recorded 22 digs, with junior defensive specialist Aislinn Pool adding 11 digs. Senior hitter Brecken Roquemore led Aledo at the service line with four aces.
The Ladycats never trailed in the opening game. Aledo led 9-7 before Goings sent down four kills in five rallies with AHS junior hitter Sarah Haeussler adding a kill to increase the Ladycats’ lead to 14-7.
The Ladycats’ lead grew to 24-19 after a kill from Goings, and on the ensuing rally Weiss sent a cross-court set to Norman, who sent down the game winner from the left side.
Aledo trailed for only one rally in game two. The Ladycats led 10-5, 17-10 and 21-13 following a pair of aces by Roquemore. A kill by Smith after a quick set by Weiss followed by another kill by Smith extended the Ladycats’ lead to 23-15.
A Grapevine return error followed by a Goings’ kill gave the Ladycats a 10-point win and a 2-0 lead in games in the best-of-5 match.
Aledo bolted out to a 7-0 lead in game three and extended the lead to 18-12 later in the set. But Grapevine refused to give up and rallied with an 8-5 run to cut the lead to 23-20. A kill by Goings brought game three to match point, but the Lady Mustangs scored the next two points to slice the lead to 24-22.
On the next rally, Weiss sent a set to Goings, who emphatically slammed down the match-winning kill.
The regional finals will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Kimbrell Arena.