To the surprise of practically no one, the Aledo Ladycats and Peaster Lady Greyhounds were still playing volleyball at the beginning of this week. Both teams had little trouble disposing of their first two playoff opponents, sweeping each.
Moving on, however, required passing their toughest tests of the season. The Lady Greyhounds, ranked third in the state in Class 3A, were facing No. 7 Boyd in Azle last night. Meanwhile, the Ladycats, No. 10 in Class 5A, were taking on Grapevine at Keller Fossil Ridge.
Elsewhere, the dream season of the Weatherford Lady Kangaroos came to an end with a heartbreaking loss to Arlington Lamar. After winning the first two games, the Lady Roos dropped the next three, including a thrilling 15-13 loss in the fifth game.
Coach Natalie Gonzales returns every player on her roster next season.
The Poolville Lady Monarchs, Millsap Lady Bulldogs and Brock Lady Eagles also saw their seasons come to an end.
Bi-district: Aledo defeated Denison 25-10, 25-13, 25-12
Aledo standouts: Madison Goings 12 kills, 11 digs, 3 aces; Erin Weiss 38 assists; Emily Smith 10 kills; Brecken Roquemore 7 kills; Sydney Casey 15 digs; Norman 7 kills, 8 digs.
Area: Aledo defeated Richland 25-15, 25-9, 25-19
Aledo standouts: Goings 18 kills, 2 aces; Weiss 37 assists; Smith 12 kills; Aislinn Pool 11 digs; Allegra Rivas 17 digs; Norman 6 kills, 9 digs; Roquemore 6 kills, 2 kills.
Aledo record: 37-8.
Coach Kathy Goings' comments: "My team is playing well together right now. Erin is doing a good job spreading out the offense."
Next: vs. Grapevine (33-14) in Region I quarterfinals, last night in Keller.
Bi-district: Arlington Lamar defeated Weatherford 14-25, 12-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-13
Weatherford standouts: London Austin-Roark 14 kills; Londyn Gray 10 kills, 6 blocks, 10 digs; Kaitlyn Rogers 40 assists, 10 digs, 6 kills; Reagan Hubbard 19 digs; Gabbie Huggins 8 kills, 8 digs, 2 blocks; Gracie Dorris 5 kills, 13 digs; Carissa Barnes 13 digs; Francine Merchant 6 kills, 3 blocks.
Weatherford record: 34-5.
Coach Natalie Gonzales' comments: "The loss was definitely not a lack of effort as these girls put their hearts on the line. I'm very proud of my girls due to all the obstacles they had to overcome this season. It may not have been as long as a playoff ride as we wanted but we will learn from it and be back even better next year."
Bi-district: Peaster defeated Henrietta 25-10, 25-11, 25-10
Peaster standouts: McKenna Ballard 27 assists; Ciarra Wright 8 kills, 8 digs; Baylee Hull 4 aces, 8 digs; Taryn Cast 7 kills; Kennedy Warren 9 kills, 5 aces, 11 digs; Rachael Gustafson 9 digs.
Area: Peaster defeated Jim Ned 25-7, 25-11, 25-10
Peaster standouts: Cast 10 blocks, 7 kills, 1 ace; Wright 11 kills, 3 digs, 1 ace; Ballard 9 digs, 27 assists.
Peaster record: 39-7.
Coach Autumn Threet's comments: "Always excited to win each and every playoff game. From here on every team is very good and it's going to be a battle each time. We are up for the challenge and played well today. Everyone contributed offensively and/or defensively.
Next: vs. Boyd (41-4) in regional quarterfinals, last night in Azle.
Bi-district: Holliday defeated Brock 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20
Brock standouts: Daelyn Sessum 13 kills, 11 digs; Gracie Cooper 26 digs; Parker King 9 kills, 13 digs.
Brock record: 19-19.
Bi-district: Bowie defeated Millsap 25-17, 25-13, 24-26, 25-22
Millsap standouts: Briana Gray 7 kills, 12 digs; Brittany Schnabel 7 kills, 8 digs; Kylie Nelms 94 percent from the service line.
Millsap record: 22-11.
Bi-district: Poolville received a bye.
Area: Bells defeated Poolville 25-23, 27-29, 19-25, 25-14, 15-8
Poolville standouts: Billie Roberts 32 kills, Kallee Cumbie 45 assists.
Coach Kendal Bracy's comments: "I am proud of them for getting district champs. Also, giving Graford their only loss of the season has been a highlight for us. I'm fortunate enough to have a lot of starters returning next year, so I know we will continue to get better and find success again."