The Water Valley Wildcats made their second straight trip to the UIL State Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.
Coach Brenda Greebon's squad lost in the 1A state title match last year to Neches and were looking for revenge. But first-year head coach Caitie Carney and the Round Top-Carmine Cubettes stopped any plans WVHS had on playing in Thursday afternoon's 1A title game, coming back from a first-set loss and winning the next three (22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 26-24) to secure their spot in the 1A championship match.
RTC has a long history at the volleyball state tournament; this is the program's 21st overall appearance (tied for third in UIL history). The Cubettes are tied for fith with the most state titles in history, with six.They will shoot for Title No. 7 on Thursday against the defending champs, the Neches Tigers.
Round Top-Carmine actually led in Set 1, 11-7, but made a string of unforced errors that allowed Water Valley (31-13) to tie the set at 11. The two teams matched point-for-point before a 4-0 run by the Wildcats gave them a 23-19 lead and they closed it out for there.
The turning point for Carney's crew came in Set 2, when they Cubettes trailed 9-5.
"At that point our middle, (junior) Kelsey Lumbeck, got involved and stepped up our play. She was very instrumental in us coming back."
And come back they did, rolling off an overall 16-6 run to take a 21-15 lead. The Cubbettes then matched the 'Cats point-for-point to win Set 2.
After winning Set 3, RTC had a 24-20 lead in Set 4 and tried to close out the match.
However, Greebon's crew dug deep and eventually tied it at 24-all. But two unforced errors helped the Cubbettes win the match.
"We're aware of the long history our school has at (the state tournament)," Lunbeck said afteward. "We have moms, aunts and relatives in the community who played for those (previous) state teams. It's a lot of fun to share history with them."
Lunbeck slammed 11 kills and made two solo blocks in the win. Brooke Schobel led all hitters with 16 kills; she added three aces and nine digs. Kate Ellers dished out 41 assists for RTC and led the team with 18 digs.
The Wildcats were busy on defense as four players had double-digit dig counts. Bailey Dawson had 17 digs (she also had nine kills and two assists); Chesney Baker dug out 14 balls (she also had nine kills); Kalysta Minto-Holla made 14 digs (she added six kills, 15 assists and three aces to her totals); and, Emery Sears made 12 digs (she added two aces to her totals).
"These four seniors (Kendra Hoover, Baker, Greebon and Dawson) have laid a great foundation as we change the culture at Water Valley," coach Greebon explained. "It's all about working harder no matter what the score is; it's all about showing up and knowing you can lose on any given day. "I'm very proud of these young ladies; they played together, worked together and played as a team. They've had great careers."
It's time to continue VYPE Austin's 2019-2020 high school boys basketball coverage. Check out our team breakdowns for Preseason Private School Big School (TAPPS 4A-6A and SPC) Top 5 and Preseason Private School Small School (TAPPS 1A-3A) Top 5!
No. 1: Regents School of Austin: The Knights advanced to the TAPPS 5A area round during the 2018-2019 season, and will be the area favorite going into the 2019-2020 campaign because of second-team all-state Garrett Dunn, first-team all-district Ben Novy, and second-team all-district Steven Schultz.
No. 2: Austin St. Michael's Catholic Academy: The Crusaders advanced to the TAPPS 5A regional final during the 2018-2019 season and will contend for a repeat trip during the 2019-2020 campaign because of all-state honorable Major Thurman, second-team all-district Thomas McCarthy and Daniel Serna, and college prospects Kade Killeen and George Washington III.
Photo by VYPE Media's Bradley Collier.
No. 3: Hill Country Christian School of Austin: The Knights missed the TAPPS 4A playoffs during the 2018-2019 season, but are expected to make noise during the 2019-2020 campaign because of first-team all-district Colton Lychner, second-team all-district Marshall Burleson and Landon Wiste, and district honorable mention Kai Orred.
No. 4 Texas School for the Deaf: The Rangers advanced to the TAPPS 4A bi-district round during the 2018-2019 season, and are expected to remain a playoff contender during the 2019-2020 campaign because of second-team all-district Jaylen Johnson and Jack Scarboro.
No. 5 Austin St. Andrew's Episcopal School: The Highlanders played two competitive SPC tournament games during the 2018-2019 season, and are expected to make another postseason push during the 2019-2020 campaign because of returning players Kobe Dunbar, Chelan Beavers, Patrick Wilson, Trenton Jackson, Colt Pepe and Gehrig Zimmerman. Along with that group, there's another force in Norman Strocen, who's a 6'5" foreign exchange student from Spain.
Photo by VYPE Media's Bradley Collier.
No. 1: Austin Waldorf School: The Roadrunners advanced to the TAPPS 2A regional final during the 2018-2019 season and can go further during the 2019-2020 campaign because of second-team all-state Johnny Hoisington and Moses Cannone, first-team all-district Theo Olson, second-team all-district Justin Horton and Junah Taylor, and district honorable mention Declan Harrison.
No. 2: Faith Academy of Marble Falls: The Flames advanced to the TAPPS 3A bi-district round during the 2018-2019 season and are expected to clinch another postseason berth during the 2019-2020 campaign because of first-team all-district Colby Offutt and Gus Henry, second-team all-district Grayson Poage and Tyler Kwan, and district honorable mentions Case Coleman and Gunner Blair.
No. 3: Fredericksburg Heritage School: The Eagles advanced to the TAPPS 1A area round during the 2018-2019 season and will remain a multi-round playoff contender during the 2019-2020 campaign because of first-team all-district Joshua Hoermann and Sam Richburg, and second-team all-district John Fritzsch and Finn Sawtelle.
No. 4: Round Rock Christian Academy: The Crusaders missed the TAPPS 3A playoffs during the 2018-2019 season, but can clinch a spot in the 2019-2020 campaign because of district honorable mentions Gabe Graf, Brandon Ruiz and Dylan Withey.
No. 5: Austin San Juan Diego Catholic: The Saints missed the TAPPS 2A playoffs during the 2018-2019 season, but have the necessary roster talent in second-team all-district Matthew Garcia and Bobby Picasio to advance to the 2019-2020 postseason.
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