From Staff Reports
Corsicana Daily Sun
Three teams from the Golden Circle emerged from the opening round of the volleyball playoffs on Tuesday night as Mildred, Kerens and Wortham all picked up bi-district victories to advance to the Area round of the state playoffs.
Kerens will play Mart at 6:30 pm. Thursday in the Teague gym, Wortham meets Thrall at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Bremond, and Mildred plays Lexington at 6 p.m. Saturday in Leon.
Mildred is celebrating a breakthrough season and the Lady Eagles, who went 10-0 to win their first District 23-2A title, didn’t slow down when they reached the playoffs.
Mildred (20-17-1) swept past New Waverly, 25-17, 25-21, 25-19, in the Leon gym to advance to the Area round.
The Lady Eagles were led on Tuesday by Savannah Pritchett , who had eight kills, two blocks, 12 digs, one save, one assist and a 9 for 9 night at the service line. Joanna Tapley slammed om nine kills and had 15 digs and two assists and Callie Bland had 14 digs, 13 assists, two saves and four kills while going 11 of 11 in serving. Shelby Andamson had five kills wo blocks, two saves and a dig, Sagen Willams had seven assists, one dig and one save, and Abbie Burnham had nine digs, one kill and was 6 of 6 serving. Ella Watts had one kill and thee blocks with one assist and one dig.
Kerens, which is ranked No. 17 in the state, needed four sets to take care of Blum, which makes the playoffs year-in and year-out, and Coach Kristen Lynch said her players had to work to get the four-set win.
“The girls had to battle at the net against Blum’s middle hitters,’’ Lynch said. “They worked hard and got the job done.’’
Kerens has long been a basketball power and the same girls who have been the strength of the basketball program are the leaders of the volleyball program, including Taylor Ames, who led Kerens on the basketball court last year and Breanna Baxter, who was the All-Golden Circle co-offensive player of the year last season.
Kerens is now 25-5 and has won 15 of its last 16 matches, including a 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19 win over Blum, which is a regular in the playoffs.
Wortham had a classic match at Navarro, coming back to beat Frost in four sets.
The Lady Polar Bears, who were ranked 11th in the state, had won 12 in a row and had to juggle volleyball and cross country over the last two weeks. The Frost girls took third in the region meet in Humble on Saturday and most of the cross country team plays volleyball.
Wortham is used to having success.
Larry Ward took over as the coach this season but kept Wortham’s rich tradition of reaching the playoffs in stride as the Lady Bulldogs find themselves back in the area round of the playoffs and ranked No. 23 in the state.