The Canyon Lady Eagles celebrate after downing Graham in a Region I-4A semifinal in Childress on Tuesday night. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
The Canyon Lady Eagles are still standing. Through a very intense match on Tuesday night against No. 6 Graham, the Lady Eagles looked like anything but an underdog defeating the Lady Blues, 25-22, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20, in a Region I-4A semifinal in Childress.
Canyon is now 18-5 overall and will head to the Region I-5A final to take on No. 3-ranked Decatur (26-1) at a time and place to be determined.
“We’ve come a long way,” Canyon head coach Sara Morath said. “I’ve coached a lot of these seniors since they were in sixth grade. This has been a longtime coming. I’m really proud of them, and their effort all year.”
The Lady Eagles and Lady Blues split the first two sets, but it was the third where Canyon stole the momentum. Down 24-22, Canyon outside hitter Raylee Bain made back-to-back kills, tying the game at 24. The Lady Eagles then got a kill from Kenda Evans, followed by a block from Zoey Sparks to take the set and a key 2-1 advantage.
“Coming back in that third set was huge for us,” Morath said. “I feel like we’ve had a lot of games that helped prepare us for that. We always work on those pressure situations in practice, so I’m really proud that we pulled that one out.”
The Lady Eagles victory was a complete team effort. Canyon dominated at the net, Bain was unstoppable on the outside knocking down 17 kills, and setter Ryne Roden did her job getting hitters the ball dishing out 53 assists. Evans complimented Bain with 13 kills, Sparks tallied three blocks and Sadie Boyles totaled 30 digs.
Graham ends its season at 27-3.
Canyon def. Graham 25-22, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20
Canyon— Kills: Raylee Bain 17, Kenda Evans 13; Blocks: Zoey Sparks 3; Digs: Sadie Boyles 30; Assists: Ryne Roden 53.
Records: Graham 27-3; Canyon 18-5.
Hereford season ends at the hands of Decatur in top 5 matchup
Decatur’s Kenedy Houchin (6) goes for a kill over Hereford’s Taytum Stow (10) during a Region I-4A semifinal in Childress. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
In the second match of a Region I-5A semifinal doubleheader in Childress, No. 3 Decatur ended up being too much for No. 4 Hereford in a 28-26, 25-17, 26-24 sweep.
Decatur is coached by Hereford graduate and former Lady Whiteface head coach Catherine Foerster. Foerster is two matches away from returning back to the University Interscholastic League Class 4A state tournament for a second straight year. Foerster helped lead Hereford to a state runner up finish in 2019.
The Lady Whitefaces had their chances against the Lady Eagles. Decatur struggled finding an answer for Hereford middle blocker Taytum Stow. Stow helped her team build a 16-12 first set lead only to see the Lady Eagles storm back to tie the set. The two teams went back-and-forth before Decatur won the final two points for a 28-26 first set victory. Trailing 2-0, Hereford took command behind Stow again in the third set with a 19-12 lead. However, the Lady Eagles came back to tie the set, 22-22, then put their stamp on the sweep 26-24.
Stow finished the match with 20 kills and an ace. Setter Rainey Aven made 39 assists.
Hereford, the District 4-4A champions, end another incredible season under first-year head coach Carley McCracken at 24-2. Decatur improves to 26-1 and will now face Canyon (18-5) in a Region I-5A final at a time and place to be determined.
Decatur def. Hereford 28-26, 25-17, 26-24
Hereford— Kills: Taytum Stow 20, Bonnie Vallejo 14; Blocks: Nickilah Whatley 4, Rainey Aven 3; Digs: Miranda Acosta 16, Micah Palacios 14, Aven 10; Assists: Aven 39; Aces: Aven 1; Stow 1.
Record: Hereford 24-2; Decatur 26-1.
Class 3ABushland sweeps Henrietta
The No. 3-ranked Bushland Lady Falcons were challenged in the first set before going on to a dominant 29-27, 25-12, 25-21, sweep of Henrietta in a Regional I-3A semifinal in Vernon on Tuesday.
The Lady Bearcats pushed the No. 2-ranked Lady Falcons in the first set. Bushland was able to sustain the momentum, taking the first set, 29-27. From there the Lady Falcons put their foot on the gas to pull away from Henrietta (23-8) and earn the three-set win.
Senior outside hitter Kinley Rudder and Hallie Conklin combined for 27 kills. Rudder knocked down a game-high 14, followed by Conklin’s 13. Rudder added three blocks with three aces. Logan Culpepper and Taryn Schultz distributed the ball efficiently. Culpepper dished out 17 assists, while Schultz added 15. Jaycee Adams had a gritty performance with 21 digs.
Bushland (28-2) advances to the Region 1-3A final to face Holliday (22-5) a time and place to be determined.
Bushland def. Henrietta 29-27, 25-12, 25-21
Bushland— Kills: Kinley Rudder 14, Hallie Conklin 13; Blocks: Rudder 3, Taryn Schultz 2; Digs: Jaycee Adams 21, Conklin 7; Assists: Logan Culpepper 17, Schultz 15; Aces: Rudder 4, Culpepper 3.
Records: Bushland 28-2; Henrietta 23-8.
AHS sweeps season series from Randall in stunning fashion
Amarillo High’s Currie Marusak knocks down a kill between two Randall defenders during a key District 3-5A match Tuesday night at the Randall Gym. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Sports]
With its back against the wall during Tuesday nights Bell Street showdown with rival Randall, Amarillo High was able to pull themselves together for a monumental five-set, 23-25, 23-25, 27-25, 25-20, 15-9, thrilling win leaving the Lady Raiders stunned on their home floor.
The epic comeback in this storied rivalry gave the Lady Sandies the outright District 3-5A title.
It was also a 15th straight win for AHS (15-4 overall, 9-0 in district) which started the year 0-4.
Randall (11-4) sees a five-game winning streak come to an end falling into a second place tie with Tascosa at 6-3 in the district race.
The Lady Raiders played much better than the first meeting between these two. Randall came out firing taking the first two sets, 25-23, 25-23.
It looked like a sweep was inevitable leading 22-20 in the third set until AHS rallied back and eventually took the game when outside hitter Currie Marusak earned a block.
AHS took the fourth set 25-19, and in the fifth scored six of the last seven points to finish off the comeback. Ashlyn Vinyard and Marusak led the way for the Lady Sandies. Vinyard tallied a game-high 22 kills, followed by Marusak’s 19. Jaedyn Woolley made sure she got the ball to both teammates with 33 assists, and hit the floor for 12 digs.
Randall senior Kiar Parker was outstanding knocking down 14 kills, adding three aces. Taylor Irving was stellar for the Lady Raiders making a career-high 37 digs.
District 3-5A scores
Amarillo High def. Randall 23-25, 23-25, 27-25, 25-20, 15-9
Amarillo High— Kills: Ashlyn VInyard 22, Currie Marusak 19; Blocks: Elle Krusa 5, Symone Quiles 2, Marusak 2, Brielle Worley 2; Digs: Maddie Kellogg 17, Jaedyn Woolley 12: Assists: Woolley 33, Jo Moffitt 24. Aces: Worley 4, Kellogg 1, Marusak 1.
Randall— Kills: Kiar Parker 14, Desiree Sotelo 10. Blocks: Rylee Miller 5, Kylee Williams 4. Digs: Taylor Irving 37, Sotelo 16, Lauren DeSantiago 16; Assists: Maretta Ramirez 26, Merritt Snell 24; Aces: Parker 3, Ramirez 2.
Records: Amarillo High 15-4, 9-0; Randall 11-4, 6-3.
Tascosa def. Plainview 25-11, 25-13, 25-14
Tascosa— Kills: Bebe Irwin 12, Liv Sims 9; Blocks: Irwin 3, Abrey Galt 3; Digs: Berkley Warren 11, Abi Rogers 10; Assists: Smart 22, Galt 13; Aces: Warren 3, Saylor Abbott 3.
Records: Plainview 8-10, 3-6; Tascosa 10-7, 6-3.
Caprock def. Palo Duro 23-25, 25-16, 25-9, 25-16