RICHARDSON — The Red Oak volleyball team rallied in the first set to tie at 17-all, but the Lady Hawks fell to six-time state champion Lucas Lovejoy in three sets in the Class 5A Region II volleyball semifinals on Friday evening at Berkner High School.
Lovejoy (46-5) won the match 25- 21, 25-13, 25-12 and went on to sweep Highland Park in Saturday afternoon’s Region II championship match. The Lady Leopards will take an 18-match winning streak against San Antonio Alamo Heights in the 5A state semifinals at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.
Senior Katelyn Malone had nine kills for the Lady Hawks, who finish at 35-11. Classmate Hailey Hunt, who signed last week with Stephen F. Austin, added eight kills and 12 digs, and senior Zanobia Willis had five blocks. Junior Carley Rushing dished out 13 assists and sophomore Ellie Davis had a team-high 13 digs.
The Lady Leopards played 15 players in Friday’s match and were led by TCU pledge Cecily Bramschreiber with 18 kills, 14 digs and five aces; Ellie Jonke with 14 kills; Lexie Collins with three blocks; Callie Kemohah with 15 digs; and Averi Carlson with 37 assists and 14 digs. The bad news for the rest of Class 5A is all five players are underclassmen.
Class 5A Region II
Highland Park d. Midlothian 3-0
RICHARDSON — The Panthers’ season came to an end on Friday night with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-19 loss to Highland Park at Berkner High School in the 5A Region II semifinals.
Highland Park’s 24th consecutive win was in doubt midway through the second set when Midlothian led HP 13-10. HP had beaten Midlothian in straight sets on Aug. 27. Highland Park coach Michael Dearman noticed a difference.
“They have improved a ton,” Dearman said. “They start three sophomores and two freshmen, but you could see they had talent. So, we knew we were in for a tough match.”
One of those freshmen, Kenna Buchanan, led Midlothian’s second-set rally, scoring three of the final five points with kills.
Highland Park ran off eight points in a row, but Midlothian kept the pressure on, regaining the lead at 21-20 and 23-22. Highland Park (37-11) got back the serve at 23-23. Senior Lauren McMahon sent a soft return to the floor, and Jeanne Tulimieri served for the final point in a 25-23 win and a 2-0 lead in sets.
Midlothian (26-18) battled gamely in the third set but didn’t lead after scoring the first point. Midlothian was within two points at 20-18, but Highland Park got a break when Tulimieri scored an ace when her serve hit the top of the net and dropped to the floor on the other side. Midlothian couldn’t recover.
Class 4A Region III
Carthage d. Heritage 3-0
BRYAN — The Jaguars made it to the region finals for the third straight time and fought hard for three sets at Bryan High School, but Carthage ended Heritage’s volleyball season on Saturday afternoon with a 25-21, 25-19, 25-23 result, sending the Lady Bulldogs on to the state tournament.
Heritage ends its year with a final mark of 28-19-1, falling just one match short of a second consecutive trip to the state tournament.
The Jags maintained several small leads in the second set, but the Lady Dawgs served six straight points to turn an 11-8 deficit into a 14-11 lead. The third set went back and forth with five lead changes and nine ties. Heritage had its final lead at 18-17 before Carthage nosed ahead and held on to complete the sweep.
Cami Hicks led Carthage (41-4) with 12 kills and six blocks, and Kristen Stewart added 31 assists and a dozen digs. Both were named tournament co-MVPs. Carthage will face Hereford in the 4A state semifinals in Garland at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
On Friday night, the Jags beat Huffman Hargrave, 25-22, 25-17, 25-23, in the Region III semis to advance to Saturday’s match.
Senior Hanna Larson, who has signed with Texas A&M, had 14 kills and seven blocks to pace the Jags. Classmate Kelsey Carpenter, who has inked with UT-San Antonio, had nine kills, four blocks and 13 digs.
Senior Juliana Pologruto tied for team honors with 15 assists, while junior Elizabeth Schmidt added nine kills, two blocks and two service aces, and senior Kaylee Rutenbar recorded 10 digs.