White Oak Sweeps Palestine Westwood to Reach 2A Regional Tournament
ATHENS -- For at least one game, the Palestine Westwood Lady Panthers gave the eighth-ranked White Oak Ladynecks a bit of a scare.
But, in the end, White Oak proved to be too much for the Lady Panthers, sweeping Westwood out of the playoffs, 3-0 (27-25, 25-12, 25-19), in the regional quarterfinals Tuesday at Athens High School.
White Oak moves on to the Class 2A Region III tournament, which beings Friday at Longview High School. The Ladynecks will face Crawford at 8 p.m. Friday, while the other regional semifinal pairing pits New Diana against Centerville at 6 p.m.
Even though the match went three games, it felt as if it was won and lost in the very first game.
Behind some high-powered hitting and solid defense, the Lady Panthers hung around with the Ladynecks, and the match was tied early on.
White Oak pulled ahead and took a 17-13 lead before Westwood rallied to cut the lead to 17-15. That Westwood rally was met with another Ladyneck surge, as White Oak pulled ahead 20-16.
But, Westwood responded and cut the lead to 20-18 behind a kill from Courtney Stanhope and a White Oak ball that went into the net.
White Oak's Rebecca Green and Stanhope traded kills to make it 21-19, but a Westwood error and a kill from Taylor Tramel made it 23-19, and put White Oak on the edge of victory.
Westwood rallied back, however, with Marialle Boles tallying a kill when she pushed a ball past two White Oak blockers to make it 23-20, and later made it 23-22 on a similar kill.
The rally of the match came next, with both teams firing balls across the net and both team's defenses picking those digs up each time.
White Oak's star Dorothy Swanson finally ended the rally with a monster kill — a precursor of things to come.
Markeisha Durham made it 24-23 on a kill, and the match got tied up. The next White Oak attack led to a kill hit out-of-bounds, and put Westwood up 25-24.
It was the Lady Panthers first lead since they were up 4-3 early in the game, and it proved to be their final of the match.
White Oak answered with three-straight kills from Swanson, two on attacks to make it 26-25, then the final on a block of a Mi'Kayla Benson kill to end the game.
Westwood never recovered from that, and it showed in Game 2. White Oak jumped out to a 8-1 lead and never looked back.
Behind Swanson's six kills in the game, White Oak wrapped it up 25-12.
Westwood sprang back to life a bit in Game 3, despite an early lead for White Oak at 9-2.
Westwood clawed back to make it 12-10, but White Oak answered with its own rally to make it 18-12. From there, Westwood never got closer than six points.
For White Oak, Swanson had a match-high 18 kills, while Madison Pecot also had double-digit kills will 11.
Audrey Lunstedt finished with seven while Rebecca Green had six.
Morgan Baldwin led the Ladynecks with 36 assists.
Stanhope and Benson both had eight kills to lead the Lady Panthers' attack, while Durham had seven and Boles had six.
Heather Wooden finished with a team-high 12 assists, while Neeli Hardison had 11.
Cayuga Reaches 1A Regional Tournament With Sweep of Milano
GROESBECK -- Behind huge nights from Shawnta Knox and Danielle Anderson, the sixth-ranked Cayuga volleyball team is regional tournament-bound once again.
Knox had a team-high 23 kills and Anderson added 21 to lead the Ladycats' attack.
Molly Griffey coordinated the attack, with 43 assists to go along with 11 digs. Cory McCulloch had a team-high 18 digs for Cayuga, which is hoping to make a third-straight trip to the state tournament.
That journey back continues Friday, when the Ladycats take on Hico to open the Class A Region II tournament at Weatherford High School. That match is set for 5 p.m.