Win or go home – that’s been the focus for defending state champion All Saints the past two games.
During senior night on Oct. 18, All Saints and TC-Addison went the distance 25-18, 27-29, 23-25, 25-22, 21-19. Tulane beach commit Ashton Mares had her first career 30-30 game with 32 kills and 32 digs. Marissa Neal had 24 and 20 while Shannon Dixon recorded 40 digs. Kelsie Selman had a game-high 66 assists.
“I was super nervous,” Mares said. “When we were down seven points in the fifth, my heart was in my stomach. We stepped up and did it for our seniors. It was an amazing feeling to know that our season wasn’t over.”
Coach Jacob Hanan was sure they were playoff bound, but when they got home that night, they learned Nolan Catholic beat Midland Christian to force a play-in game Wednesday at Grace Prep.
“Coach came up to us after senior night and said that we didn’t have a tiebreaker so we all started cheering, but we got home and realized we had one,” Mares said. “So the next morning we got back to work and we were ready to get better for tonight.”
All Saints dropped the first game, but rallied to win 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-17 against the Vikings. Mares finished with 21 kills and 25 digs while Neal added 14 and 18. Khauri Williams registered 12 kills and Selman had a game-high 55 assists. Dixon added 35 digs.
“That first game was a wake-up call,” Mares said. “We weren’t going to walk over them in three like the last time we played them. They got better and they wanted this too. We had to come together and realize we had to do our best.”
Now the Saints know they’re in the playoffs. They host John Paul II on Saturday.
LD BELL 3, EULESS TRINITY 2
The Blue Raiders had a game over their rival Trojans for the final spot in 3-6A. A loss would force a tiebreaker and trailing 2-1, LD Bell dug deep and pulled off the win 21-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 15-12 on Tuesday night.
LD Bell (18-21) is playoff bound for the first time since 2013.
London Rogers and Tessa Glick led the way with 24 and 19 kills.
“It was very thrilling,” Glick said. “We went into that game with so much confidence and so much strength and faith, and that’s what held us together. We fought for every point and we believed and trusted each other allowing us to come out on top.”
Glick added a game-high 34 digs while Central Oklahoma commit Bella Burns had 52 assists and 24 digs.
“It’s been a long road with lots of hard work to finally make it into the playoffs and it’s even more surreal to have it happen my senior year,” Burns said. “Getting the win was one of the best feelings. It was a great team win.”
Four other Blue Raiders registered double-figure digs; Tessa Francoise (18), Camryn Dawley (13), Anna Esquivel (12) and Alexia Esparza (12). Bell plays 4-6A champ Arlington Martin (31-8), 7:30 p.m. Monday at Brewer.
JOSHUA 3, CORSICANA 0
The Owls are also playoff bound for the first time in five years after winning 25-22, 25-23, 29-27 on Tuesday night. They secured the third seed in 14-6A.
“Our goal this year was playoffs,” said senior Anne-Elise Gest, who’s also a standout softball player. “It’s just such a rush to be able to say I’m going with my best friends. “We always knew we were capable of being the team we are now.”
Joshua (19-11) plays Forney (24-9), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Arlington Bowie.
CLEBURNE 3, UNIVERSITY 0
The Yellowjackets kept their season alive 25-18, 25-21, 25-18 over the Trojans.
Cleburne (20-13) will play Corsicana (26-13), 5:30 p.m. Friday at Maypearl for the final spot in 14-5A.
CARROLL 3, KELLER 0
The Dragons rebounded from an earlier loss to the Indians 25-14, 25-15, 25-19 to force a tie for second in 5-6A.
Carroll (35-9) won the flip so it draws 3-time defending state champ Hebron (25-16), 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lake Dallas.
Natalie Glenn had a game-high 20 kills while Annabelle Smith added 12. Kendall Gilpin had a team-high 17 digs while TCU commit McKenzie Nichols registered 38 assists.
BOSWELL 3, SAGINAW 0
The Pioneers needed a win and some help to keep the season alive and it all worked on Tuesday, beating the Rough Riders 25-17, 25-12, 25-12. Chisholm Trail lost to Birdville so the Rangers will host Boswell (20-20), 6 p.m. Friday for the final spot in 7-5A and the opportunity to play 8-5A champ Denton.
Isabela Moore had a game-high 12 kills while Hope Franklin and Caitlyn Boyd added 12 and 10 assists. Kaylen Beaty led with 13 digs. UNT commit Emily Ah Leong finished with 7 kills, 7 digs and 2 aces while Taylor Etter added 6 kills.