Garland bound – Bushland punches ticket to fifth straight UIL state volleyball tournament


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The Bushland Lady Falcons swept Peaster to claim their fifth straight Region I-3A championship on Saturday at Lubbock-Cooper High School. [Ryder Grace Lyles/ Press Pass Sports]
Bushland kept a strong grip on Region I and did it in emphatic fashion by wiping out anyone in their path on the way to getting back to a fifth straight UIL Class 3A state tournament appearance on Saturday.

After taking down Clyde, 25-16, 25-18, 25-21, in a Region I-3A semifinal at Lubbock-Cooper on Friday night, the Lady Falcons played like a team on a mission on Saturday by pummeling Peaster in a match that lasted around an hour, 25-6, 25-15, 25-14.

Bushland (42-6) takes a 19-game win streak to the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland looking for the program’s seventh state championship and third under head coach Jason Culpepper.

“It never gets old,” said Culpepper, who has an incredible career record of 787-149 with stops at Randall and Bushland. “It’s so hard to get back to the state tournament. This team works very hard every day and they had a goal of getting back to state. This was a great game for us. It was a complete game.”

Bushland is focused on getting a third state title in the last four years after a three-peat fell short after being swept by Gunter in the Class 3A state championship a year ago.

“We have a little chip on our shoulder,” Culpepper said. “These seniors have done a great job with their leadership and we’re ready to get down to Garland and see what we can do.”

Bushland’s Abby Howell (14) combined for 25 kills during the Region I-3A Tournament on Friday and Saturday. [Ryder Grace Liles/ Press Pass Sports]
Bushland senior and leader Abby Howell was named Region I-3A Tournament MVP for her tremendous effort over the course of Friday and Saturday. Howell was dominant at the net during wins over Clyde and Peaster combining for 25 kills, including 19 against Peaster on Saturday. Howell was also impressive on the service line with a combined six aces.

Teammate Lilly Ann Shannon also combined for 25 kills while Mackenzie Sims did a stellar job running the offense with 45 total assists with 20 digs and 10 kills. Ansley Tiffin chipped in 32 assists with 13 digs and Avery Ramos had 36 digs in both wins with three aces.

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