AXTELL – The Frost Lady Polar Bears, the No. 1 seed from District 13-2A, defeated Waco Rapoport Academy in a Region II Class 2A Bi-District playoff match 3-0 (25-14, 25-9, 25-22) Monday night in the Axtell High School gym.
After watching Wortham defeat Chilton in three straight games, the Lady Bears took the court.
“My freshmen seemed a little nervous, but they calmed down. Our senior captains (Kinsley Fuller and Sydney Woods) were low key, but ready to go,” explained coach Elaine Woods, regarding the Lady Bears' mindset entering their match.
In the first set, Frost used two Sydney Woods serving aces and a powerful return spike from Kyra Cerda that bounced of Anastasia Oliverra in the center back to take an early 6-1 lead.
Rapoport fought back taking to lead briefly 8-7 – the Lady Ravens' only lead of the night. After a long out-of-bounds return by Rapoportthe Lady Bears tied the score, 8-8, and Frost began building a lead. Cerda served six straight points including an ace and two serves were shanked into the stands.
One unique play of the game followed a short volley after Emily De La Hoya’s serve, Fuller blocked a return. The ball spun up about five feet and fell. Fuller followed the ball, regathered herself, and she spiked the ball to push the Frost lead to 20-10. Frost eventually won the set 25-14.
In the second set, the freshman lost any nervousness and found their rhythm. Several Frost Polar Bears football players in attendance began cheering, “Tick, Tock, Boom!” and “Yep (Yep)!”.
Freshman Lexi Banks nailed two spikes in a row from the left front sending balls crashing in the middle of the Ravens defense, and fellow freshman Madeline Lee nailed a kill shot. Frost built a 20-3 lead.
Surviving three solid point serves from Lady Ravens' Haven Booker, the Lady Bears gained points from a Sydney Woods bump return, a De La Hoya ace, and a Fuller kill to take the second set 25-9.
The third set was played tightly.Coach Woods noted after the match, “Silly mistakes, but that happens.”
After being up 10-5, Rapoport gained points and confidence off Lady Bears' lapses like spikes hitting into the net or a return falling between defenders.
Rapport pulled with one point at 19-18 and again at 23-22. After Latoreya Lee’s return attempt fell into the front center net, Frost served and a volley ensued. Fuller dug to Woods. Woods bumped to assist Banks. Banks sent a kill shot to the center front for a 25-22 set win and match win, 3-0.
For the match, Banks had 10 kills, Cerda nailed 10 kills and three aces, Fuller ripped seven kills and a block, Lee scored three kills and a block, and Woods had three kills with 28 assists and six aces. Meanwhile, De La Hoya had a kill with two assists and two aces, Jayden Jenkins scored three aces, and Maddy Whitley had an ace.
Coach Woods gleamed after the game, “I am proud of the girls. I want them to make a good run [in the playoffs]”.
Frost will play an Area playoff game against either Rosebud-Lott or Axtell. Those two teams play a bi-district game Tuesday night at Waco La Vega. The Lady Bears (23-11) will play their next opponent sometime between Thursday and Saturday.