They left no doubt.
Paced by what Aledo head coach Claire Gay said was “a total team effort” the state-ranked No. 9 Ladycats swept No. 4 Colleyville Heritage, 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 Saturday afternoon at Kimbrell Arena to win the Class 5A Region I volleyball championship and advance to the state tournament in Garland.
The Ladycats will play Friday in the state semifinals at either 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. at the Curtis Cullwell Center in Garland.
“Our back row continues to be solid, and I really think this team can get better,” Gay said. “We were active on the block and our team was focused from start to finish.”
Last year, Aledo won game one in the regional final but dropped the next three games. This year, the Ladycats got stronger and took care of business to advance to state for the first time since 2014.
“It feels great to get to state,” said Sydney Casey, the lone Ladycat to have played at the 2014 state tournament. “This win just shows how hard we have been working all year. We just keep getting better and better.”
Senior Sarah Haeussler and junior Evelyn Torres each sent down eight kills to lead Aledo. Haeussler also recorded a match-high seven blocks.
A kill by Casey ended the opening game, and in the nine-point win in game two, Haeussler dominated the net with four blocks and three kills.
In game three, the Ladycats jumped off to 4-1 lead and never looked back. Torres led with four kills in the match-clinching game, and she ended the match after sending down an emphatic kill off a feed from setter Sarah Morehead.