Joshua's first trip to the volleyball playoffs since 1981 will last a little longer after the Owls swept Fort Worth Western Hills 25-22, 25-11, 25-20 on Tuesday in a Class 4A bi-district contest at North Crowley High School.
Joshua (32-8) had been off for a week, and the rust was apparent as the Cougars (20-15) kept the first set close.
"We started off a little bit nervous, as you could expect," said Joshua coach Craig Bethel, whose team met several of the '81 players at last week's Senior Night regular-season finale. "It took a little bit to adjust to game speed again, but I thought we overcame the nerves pretty well."
Hannah Nelson led the Owls with eight kills and four blocks, while Maddison Moad had seven kills and Katherine Martin recorded 14 digs. Sophomore setter Ashley Brakel had 12 assists and 12 digs, and Kailey Hicks added nine assists. Joshua meets Trophy Club Nelson in the area round.
Southlake Carroll d. North Crowley 25-11, 25-10, 25-6: Taylor Gruenewald recorded nine kills to lead the Dragons (45-3) past the Panthers (21-20) in a 5A bi-district match at Lamar High School.
Carroll's 20-player roster, which included two junior varsity call-ups, all saw action against North Crowley. Maddie McCollough led Carroll with 15 assists, and teammate Cat McCoy had 14 digs.
Mansfield Legacy d. Tyler 25-10, 25-11, 25-16: The Broncos (23-22) recorded nine aces to rout the Lions in a 4A bi-district contest at Terrell High School.
Junior setter Kelsey Rombach led the service attack with three aces, and she recorded 30 assists and five digs.
"That was a big game plan, to be able to set the tone with the serves," Legacy coach Jennifer Chandler said. "We maintained our side and played our game."
Amanda Lanter, Samantha Eaton and Sami McDonald each contributed seven kills, while Kendall Reidmiller had six.
Sophomore defensive specialist Jasmine Jones had 13 digs as a last-minute regular for an ill teammate.
"That was definitely huge for a sophomore to fill in in a varsity playoff game," Chandler said.
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