Salado Lady Eagles are going to the Region III Volleyball tournament, where they will face Hargrave in the first match at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 at Bryan High School.
Hargrave is 30-13 on the year and winner in District 20-4A, in which they went 9-1. Salado went 9-1 to win District 23-4A and is 32-15 on the year.
If Salado wins the match against Hargrave, they will face the winner of Lago Vista and Spring Hill in the finals at 2 p.m. Nov. 12 at Bryan High School. Spring Hill (33-8, 11-1) won District 17-4A and Lago Vista (23-23, 6-4) is the third place team in District 24-4A.
Salado beat the #9-ranked Burnet Lady Bulldogs on Nov. 8 in four sets at Copperas Cove High School, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22 and 25-19 to launch themselves into the Regional tournament.
Burnet led by as much as five in the first set, before the Lady Eagles closed to within one 17-16. Burnet went on to win by four.
Salado won the next three sets, two of them in convincing fashion, over a squad that the girls had already faced three times this season, winning two of the matches and losing one.
A block by Elsie Law and Livia Niu put the momentum of the second set clearly in the Salado court, giving Salado a 9-6 lead. The Lady Eagles put the game away on a service worth three points by Haleigh Wilk that included back-to-back blocks by Macy Morris, with help from Niu and Haley Brown to take a 24-17 lead. On Burnet’s last ditch effort, Reese Rich received the serve, so that Wilk could set it to Niu for a shot across the court for the winning point.
Burnet dogged the Lady Eagles in the third set, tying at 13-13 and again at 15-15 and 16-16 before the Lady Eagles began to pull away. Salado led by as much as 24-19, but Burnet chipped away to make it 24-22 when Wilk set once again to Niu for the winning kill at 25-22.
Salado took control of the fourth set on Niu’s nine-point service, which included two aces by the junior. The Lady Eagles led 17-5 before Burnet could break Niu’s stranglehold on the serve.
Salado led 23-16, when the Bulldogs put up three straight points and coach Kristi Wilk called a timeout for Salado. That was all she wrote as Salado scored the next two points for the win, as Macy Morris put Wilk’s set in the backcourt of Burnet to go up 24-19 and then blocked McKenzie Davis’s tip at the net for the match winning point.
Rich led the girls with 13 kills, followed by Haley Brown, 11, Morris, 9, Wilk, 8, Niu, 4 and Law, 3.
Rich and Niu both had 2 aces while Wilk and Katey Bartek each had an ace.
Law dominated defending the net with 5 solo blocks and 2 block assists.
Morris and Niu both had 4 block assists while Wilk had 3 block assists.
Wilk led the girls with 24 assists, followed by Niu, 14, Morris and Jordan Ferguson, 2 each and Sara Ellis and Bartek, 1 each