Paced by a front row that sent down 40 kills, the Aledo Ladycats completed the first half of District 4-5A play with a convincing 25-14, 25-10, 25-20 victory over the Abilene Cooper Lady Cougars Tuesday night at Aledo High School.
The win elevates the Ladycats’ district mark to 4-0, while Cooper falls to 1-2. Aledo will return to district action on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at home against Abilene Wylie.
Senior outside hitter Daleigh Ellison led the Ladycats with a match-high 19 kills while adding four blocks, Lilly Taylor added eight kills, and setter Mattie Gantt dished out 26 assists with a team-high 12 digs. Libero Riley Pickett added 11 digs.
In the opening set, Ellison dominated play with 10 kills. With Aledo leading 18-14, the Ladycats went on a 7-0 run – courtesy of five kills from Ellison, a block by Alex Grooms and a Lady Cougars’ return error – to seal the first game.
Aledo raced out to a 11-4 lead in the second game and led 20-10 after 30 rallies. The Ladycats kept the pressure on as junior middle hitter Audrey Pearce came up with two blocks and Pickett fired a pair of aces to bring the second set to game point.
On the next rally, Gantt set up Ellison, who sent down a thunder-spike kill as the Ladycats took the set and led 2-0 in games.
Scrappy Cooper did not want to go home empty handed as the Lady Cougars led 10-7 after 17 rallies. But a quick 5-0 run by Aledo – which included three kills by Taylor – gave the Ladycats a 12-10 lead.
Cooper, however, did not go down easily, and the Lady Cougars cut the lead to 16-14.
With Cooper sensing a chance for a fourth game, sophomore hitter Skylar Ellison came up with a huge block, and big sister Daleigh followed with a pair of kills and a block to increase the Ladycats’ lead to 20-14.
The Lady Cougars scored four of the next five points before a kill and an ace by Grooms and crafty tip for a kill by Taylor brought the set to match point.
Three rallies later, Taylor sent down the match-clinching kill from the left side to keep the Ladycats undefeated in district play.
The Ladycats sub-varsity teams swept Cooper. The junior varsity cruised to a 25-10, 25-9 victory, while the freshman ladies held off Cooper for a 25-22, 25-21 win.
For the complete story see the Oct. 11 issue of The Community News.