Aledo stuck around with No. 1 Leander Rouse and nearly took an exciting Game 2, but the bigger Rouse team went on to sweep the Bearcats 25-17, 27-25, 25-18 in a Class 5A state semifinal game on Friday at Curtis Culwell Center.
The Raiders (50-3), in their first state volleyball appearance, advances to the 5A final vs. Prosper or Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway, 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Bearcats (37-14), in their first state tournament since 2014, was right in the game in all three sets, but near the midway point of each, Rouse would go on a run.
Aledo senior Sarah Haeussler, who signed with North Texas last week, tied Game 1 at 2-2 with her kill. Sophomore Alex Grooms and blocks from sophomore Daleigh Ellison and senior Sydney Casey kept the Bearcats close.
Rouse didn’t help itself with back-to-back errors and four in 10 rallies.
Haeussler and sophomore Evelyn Torres added back-to-back kills to tie the game at 12-12, but from there, it was all Raiders.
Rouse, ranked No. 1 in the state, went ahead 23-15, which led to two timeouts by Aledo coach Claire Gay. Senior Ava Bell would end the game with her kill on set point to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.
The Bearcats led Game 2, 14-13 before Rouse went up 20-16 that led to a timeout.
Aledo answered with four-straight points to tie it at 20-20. The Bearcats had set point with a 24-23 lead, but the Raiders dug out each kill attempt before senior e’Ian McCall, who’s going to TCU, won it at 27-25 for a 2-0 lead.
In the final set, Aledo again led early, 5-1, but like she did in the second set, McCall had back-to-back aces to swing the momentum in Rouse’s favor. The Raiders went on a 20-10 run.
Haeussler had eight kills for Aledo. Ellison added a team-high nine. Senior Allegra Rivas had a game-high 22 digs.