Tigerettes return to state tournament

Marcus Gutierrez By Marcus Gutierrez

Nov. 11, 2017 at 9:45 p.m.
Updated Nov. 12, 2017 at 1 a.m.

 Goliad players celebrate after advancing to the Class 3A state championship for the third straight year  during Saturday's Region IV-3A final against Industrial at the Blossom Center in San Antonio.

Goliad players celebrate after advancing to the Class 3A state championship for the third straight year during Saturday's Region IV-3A final against Industrial at the Blossom Center in San Antonio.    Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

SAN ANTONIO - Goliad's Ashlyn Davis is only a sophomore and isn't going to back down at the net.

The outside hitter knows what to do when her setter, Kelly Thomas, sets her up for a kill.

"I was really focusing on getting the ball into a hole where their players weren't at so they wouldn't have a chance to score back on us," Davis said. "When I hit it I knew it was going down somewhere."

Davis, who finished with 17 kills and 2 digs, had the game-winning kill as the No. 7 Tigerettes defeated No. 8 Industrial in four sets 21-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-23 in the Region IV-3A final at the Blossom Athletic Center Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Tigerettes (33-9) are headed back to the state tournament for the third straight year.

Goliad will play in a Class 3A state semifinal match with a team to be determined at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. Thursday at the Culwell Center in Garland.

Callisburg, East Bernard and Boyd each won their regional final and will advance to the state tournament. The pairings will be determined Sunday.

"We're extremely excited," said Goliad head coach Jess Odem. "Our No. 1 goal was getting past this because we knew it was going to be so hard. We know if we failed her, it would have been a failed season. Now we're headed back to the state tournament, and it's going to continue to get tough."

This was the second year Goliad defeated Industrial in the Region IV-3A final.

Industrial finishes the season 32-4.

"It's disappointing and this isn't how we wanted our season to end," said Industrial head coach Jenna Treybig. "These girls worked hard all year and put in so much effort and for it to be taken away from them it feels bad. They're going to have to learn to overcome adversity in life, and I know that they will get through this tough loss.

Industrial took the first set after senior outside hitter Savhannah Kitchens hit a kill assisted by Maddison Heibel.

"We had our good moments and our bad moments at times," Treybig said. "I don't think we played to our fullest potential and that's what is frustrating. We didn't play our game."

The defending state champions Tigerettes battled back and won the next three sets.

"They just put everything together," Odem said. "Our offense got going, we had great serves and our defense started protecting the net. They started communicating with each other, and it showed on the court."

The Tigerettes went on a 9-0 run to take a 19-12 lead. Junior outside hitter Amaya Brown had four kills and one block in the 9-0 run.

"We just worked a lot in practice on hitting our angles and staying in line," said Brown, who finished with a 24 kills, 2 blocks, and 3 digs. "We just listen to our back row and listen to our coaches on what to do. Our offense really got going, and when we play our game, we come out with a win."

Thomas had 48 kills with 15 digs, Kaci Hotz added 21 digs, and Kassidy Nicholson had 13 digs for the Tigerettes.

With Goliad up 18-16 in the third set, the Tigerettes fined off the the Lady Cobras on a 7-0 run, with two aces from Kaitlyn Duval, a kill by Thomas, a block by Karleigh Hill, a kill from Davis and two hitting errors by the Lady Cobras.

"We didn't play our game out there, and we should have," Kitchens said. "We played to safe, and we didn't do what we were supposed to. I think we had a great season, and I love every one of these girls on my team, and they will always be my family."

The Tigerettes and Lady Cobras battled back and forth in the fourth set.

Goliad finished off Industrial on a 7-1 run to seal the set victory, with three kills coming from Davis.

"It's says a lot about our team getting this win," Davis said. "We lost two big pieces from our team last year and we have worked hard all year getting better. Now we're going back to state, and we still have more work to do."

Industrial will graduate five seniors and will be back next year ready to make another deep playoff run.

"The stakes were high, and there was a lot of tension," Chloe Darilek said. "I had a great year playing with my teammates. It's not the way we wanted to end our season, but we left it all out there on the court."

"We have a lot of girls coming back next year and it's the core group of girls," Treybig said. "They're all used to playing together, and we will come back stronger next year because of this game."

The Tigerettes have experience at the state tournament, and it will give them an advantage when they take the floor.

"I think we have the mindset that we know what to do when we get there," Odem said. "It's going to be hard to get that gold, but we aren't done fighting, and we will see who we play next and get ready for them."

Goliad 3, Industrial 1

Goliad - 21 25 25 25

Industrial - 25 17 18 23

Highlights - (Goliad) Amaya Brown 24 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs; Ashlyn Davis 17 kills, 1 block, 2 digs; Kelly Thomas 48 assists, 15 digs; Savannah Shaw 4 kills, 10 digs, 5 blocks; Kaci Hotz 21 digs, 2 aces; Kassidy Nicholson 13 digs; Mallory Hermes 13 digs; Brooke Yanta 4 digs, 2 kills, 2 blocks

Records - Goliad 33-9, Industrial 32-4.



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