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Lady Cats ready for playoff matchup

by Tyler Lennon

The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats open postseason play with their Bi-District match against Van Tuesday night. After a strong 6-4 performance in district play, the Lady Cats will hope to continue to play at a high level as they enter the playoffs. 

The Lady Cats opened district play with a pair of wins, beating Paris 3-2 and beating Liberty-Eylau 3-1, both of which came on the road. After that, Sulphur Springs dropped their next two games, losing to North Lamar and Pleasant Grove, each in straight sets, to fall back to .500 in district. 

Sulphur Springs answered back with a strong three-game winning streak, taking down Pittsburg, Paris and Liberty-Eylau, not losing a single set in that stretch. During that stretch the Lady Cats were led by Trinity Jefferson, who averaged three aces and 28 assists in those games. 

Senior Addisyn Wall led the way offensively, averaging nine kills per game, while Kinley Friddle averaged just under eight digs per game. The three-game winning streak gave them a 5-2 district record, and all but assured them a top-three seed in the district. 

While they won just one of their final three games, they did end the season with a big Senior Night victory over Pittsburg. In the 3-0 Senior Night win it was once again Wall who led the way offensively with nine kills.

Freshman Rainey Johnson was right behind her with seven kills. Seniors Briley Vice and Mali Maeker each had great outings, racking up a combined seven aces, while Jefferson had four aces of her own. 

Jefferson also had an impressive 31-assist outing, while fellow sophomore Aaliyah Cheatum led the team with seven total blocks. A trio of seniors, including Maeker, Vice and Laney Hurst combined for 15 digs, while Friddle had four digs as well. 

Part of what has led to such a successful season from the Lady Cats is the number of players they are getting big contributions from. The top five leaders in kills consist of two seniors (Wall and Lexi McCoy), a junior (Mary Taylor), a sophomore (Kyra Carter) and a freshman (Johnson). 

Sulphur Springs has seen some spectacular serving from their trio of seniors (Hurst, Maeker and Friddle) as the three combine for 212 aces and 625 serving points. It’s also been senior leadership leading the way in digs, as Hurst, Friddle and Maeker combine for 613 of the teams 1184 digs. 

Mix that senior leadership with some underclassmen help in blocking, as Taylor, Jefferson and Johnson combine for 192 of the teams 235 blocks, show that the Lady Cats are a very well-balanced team. They will need to continue to get production from every level as they enter postseason play.

Tuesday’s Bi-District matchup starts at 7 p.m. in Wills Point. A recap article of the game will be provided on Front Porch News.

Graphic designed by: Joel Bailey

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