Ranked in the state and with only two losses on the season, Weatherford had a chance to celebrate the District 3-6A title on Tuesday night at Keller High School.
Senior Cameryn Zahradnik and the Keller Indians didn’t get the memo.
Zahradnik, committed to UT-Arlington, had a game-high 20 kills, freshman Jayden Nembhard added 16 kills and Keller defeated No. 17 Weatherford 25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20.
Keller (25-15, 8-2 in 3-6A) now sits one game back of Weatherford (32-3, 9-1) for the top spot with two games left.
“It’s that one point at a time mentality, control what we can control, and stay disciplined with the game plan,” Keller coach Jamie Siegel said. “I told them to enjoy it tonight, but now we focus on Timber Creek and that’s it.”
Alex Gholson served up an ace to give Keller a 14-11 lead in the first set, forcing a timeout from Weatherford.
Zahradnik had three-straight kills to extend the lead to 18-12 and the Kangaroos called another timeout after trailing 21-13. Anna Simpson’s kill gave Keller a 1-0 margin.
The second set was by far the best featuring 14 ties. Texas A&M commit London Austin-Roark had four kills and two blocks in the set as Weatherford fought off to tie the match.
“We just reminded each other to play confident, believe in yourself, in each other and the coaches and just do it one point at a time,” Siegel said.
Trailing 3-2 in the third set, Zahradnik went on another run with four-straight kills to give Keller a 6-4 advantage. Weatherford was able to tie it at 13-13, 14-14 and 16-16 on a kill from Austin-Roark.
But the Indians used a 7-1 run as Zahradnik got the kill on set point for the 2-1 lead.
Keller appeared well on its way to closing out the match in the fourth set, but Weatherford came back to tie it at 16-16 on a kill from Gabby Huggins. The Indians scored the next four and didn’t look back.
“We had a lot of errors in the first match [Sept. 23] and this match, we had to take care of the ball and be consistent,” Siegel said. “We stayed with the game plan and they attacked it during every rally and it worked. Our offense was spread out, our middles came up and that helps in every match.”
Zahradnik added four aces and nine digs, and Nembhard had a team-high .407 hitting percentage. Setters Kate Lang and Katya Bulawka led 24 and 21 assists, and Emmie Riethman had a team-high 13 digs.
Keller hosts Timber Creek on Friday before wrapping up the season at Haltom on Oct. 25. Weatherford plays Haltom and Keller Central, which is one game back of Keller for second place.