Cy Woods bests Clear Lake to reach state v-ball tourney
Cypress Woods displayed the talent and determination to rise above its mistakes in dispatching Clear Lake 21-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-9 in Saturday's 5A Region III championship match at the Campbell Center.
The Wildcats will join The Woodlands, Corpus Christi King and Hebron in the state 5A semifinals Friday in San Marcos.
Ten attack errors and several mental mistakes by Cy Woods contributed to Clear Lake taking the first set.
"We were making mental mistakes," Cy Woods senior Carla Armstrong said. "We had to take a deep breath and relax. We had time to realize it was all our mistakes. We're a good team and we can do this."
Armstrong helped lead a renewed attack in the next three games. With Victoria Arenas providing some oustanding defense and Chloe Collins doubling as setter and attacker, the Wildcats made quick work of the second and fourth sets.
Sarah Nielsen put down 14 kills and added three blocks, while Armstrong and Collins added 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Marisa Guzman had nine kills to go with three aces.
Kiara Wright collected 13 kills for Clear Lake, but she was the sole consistent source of offense for the Falcons.
With the first state tournament within sight after the third set, Cy Woods shifted into overdrive. The Wildcats established a quick 9-1 lead and cruised to the finish line.
"I don't even know how to describe it," Armstrong said. "The realization that we are going to state is such an amazing feeling."
Clear Lake was at its best in the third set, matching Cy Woods point for point. When the Wildcats were able to break an 18-18 tie with a 6-1 run, it signaled the end for the Falcons hopes.
"Once they got into the flow, got their confidence and into their rhythm, they quit thinking about winning and losing and this being the regional final," Wildcats coach Ashley Ahlfinger said. "They got into a zone. And when they get into a zone, it's hard to get them out.
"They came out fired up. You could tell they wanted it. They played with heart and passion."
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