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No. 4 Spring Hill Rolls to Regional Tournament with Sweep of Emory Rains

Spring Hill’s Jasmin Kullenberg (3) and Mikai brown (7) celebrate a point during the Lady Panthers’ sweep of Emory Rains on Tuesday. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

HAWKINS — Arkansas-bound Savannah Voelzke dominated, and fourth-ranked Spring Hill had a relatively easy time dismissing Emory Rains 25-19, 25-19, 25-14 in Tuesday’s Class 3A Region II volleyball quarterfinal at Hawkins High School.

The 6-foot-1 Voelzke had a match-high 19 kills with one block, 11 digs, and one ace to lead the Lady Panthers (38-2) to the Region II tournament. Spring Hill plays No. 6 Argyle at 6 p.m. Friday at Poteet High School in Mesquite in a Region II semifinal. The winner plays in the 1 p.m. regional championship Saturday at Poteet High School.

Spring Hill built huge early leads in Games 1 and 3, leading 12-3 and 15-3, respectively, in those sets. That was in contrast to the Lady Panthers’ area round win against Wills Point, which went four games.

“Sometimes we come out and play better when we are playing a better team. I think we were kind of getting big-headed just because we were ranked No. 4, we breezed through district, stuff like that,” Voelzke said. “So I think that once we got back down to reality we came out wanting to fight and do what we can.”

Spring Hill setter Rachel Riestenberg had two kills and 26 assists, while Ann Hollas added five kills and four blocks. Jacey Fleet recorded five kills, and Aly Curtis tallied a match-high 18 digs. Allison Akins had nine digs, and Dani Decherd had seven.

Emory Rains’ Macy Garner digs the ball during Tuesday’s three-game loss to Spring Hill. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Rains led 5-2 in Game 2, but that was the Ladycats’ only significant momentum of the match. Spring Hill answered with a 7-3 run fueled by back-to-back Fleet kills to turn the tide. Three Voelzke kills and two Hollas blocks helped the Lady Panthers staged a 10-2 run later in the set to take a 2-0 match advantage.

“We know what we can do and we know we can come back and fight, so we just played our game,” Voelzke said of Spring Hill’s response to a slow Game 2 start.

Katie Hancock led Rains with nine kills and one ace, while Briley Cole had nine kills and one block. Alexis Bongiorno had 19 assists and three aces. Shye Meador-McCray had five kills.

Voelzke scored six kills during Spring Hill’s 12-3 Game 1 start. She had another six-kill effort during the 15-3 Game 3 start.

Spring Hill is headed to its third consecutive regional tournament after losing the regional semifinal round each of the last two seasons.

Spring Hill’s Jacey Fleet dives for the ball during Thursday’s sweep of Emory Rains. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

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