MONT BELVIEU — The Splendora volleyball team has eaten dinner at the same Jason’s Deli before each round of the playoffs over the past couple weeks. And while those sandwiches have certainly fueled the Ladycats on the court, their appetite for winning has not yet been satisfied.

Splendora clinched a spot in the Region III-4A semifinals on Monday evening at the Barbers Hill High School Field House with a 26-24, 25-12, 25-22 sweep over Little Cypress-Mauriceville in its first regional quarterfinals appearance since 2009.

“I’m really excited,” Splendora coach DaVette McCall said. “I’m going to enjoy it for a couple hours and then focus on the next round. ... Coming from eight wins last year, and now we’re at 31, it’s incredible. These kids just bought in really quick in the offseason, and it’s been amazing.”

The Ladycats (31-14) will face either No. 4 state-ranked Carthage (38-4), the winner of 19 straight matches, or China Spring (28-14) at 6 p.m. Friday at Bryan High School. Winners of the semifinal matches will play on Saturday afternoon for the right to advance to the UIL state tournament.

“It feels really good because last year was a struggle,” senior Allie Jones said. “This year, it’s just been mind blowing. ... It’s been so much fun — phenomenal. I don’t even know how to explain it.”

Shaelyn Sanders led the attack for Splendora on Monday, finishing the match with 13 kills and six digs. Jalynn Knight added 12 kills, and Jones had a double-double of 10 kills and 13 digs. Falon Buford paced the offense with 36 assists and six digs, while Kayla Martin and Ashton Schulz held down the back line with 24 and nine digs, respectively. Bree Bowers added seven digs.

The opening set was full of intensity as the teams battled back and forth. LCM grabbed a 13-9 lead with four consecutive points, but the Ladycats fired right back with six straight tallies of their own. The game was tied on five more occasions before Splendora found some breathing room with a 4-1 spurt that put them on the brink of victory at 24-21. LCM fought back and tied the set before the Ladycats put down the final two points to escape with the triumph.

“Huge,” McCall said of the win. “With that being such a close set, I definitely think we carried the momentum into the second set. I knew how much that was going to mean — winning that first set — especially with LCM being a high-momentum team. Once they get the momentum, they’re going on a roll, so we knew we had to try to kill that as fast as we could.”

Splendora was dominant from start to finish in the second game. The Ladycats collected nine consecutive points to take a 14-4 edge and never looked back. Splendora went ahead by as many as 15 points at 21-6 before closing out the set and taking a 2-0 lead for the match.

The Lady Bears put up more of a fight in the third and final set, but Splendora started with a 7-1 lead and never trailed. LCM made things interesting late and kept the score close down the stretch. The Ladycats did just enough to hold on for the victory, however, and put the match on ice.

“They showed a lot of aggression,” McCall said. “We sometimes didn’t always push points through at the beginning of the season, but we’ve built up to the point where it’s like, ‘OK, we’re going to push points, and we’re not going to stop.’ We just saw a lot of fight and aggression out of them.”

jpoorman@hcnonline.com

Original Article from: https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/moco/sports/article/VOLLEYBALL-Splendora-sweeps-LCM-advances-to-14827239.php