Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Colleyville Heritage wins marathon match over Flower Mound to advance to volleyball regional semifinals
IRVING — Nothing less than a five-set thriller would have suited the area’s fourth- and fifth-ranked volleyball teams Monday night.
No. 4 Colleyville Heritage beat No. 5 Flower Mound for a 27-29, 25-22, 25-16, 25-27, 15-10 win in a 5A-I regional quarterfinal at Irving MacArthur.
Heritage boasts a pair of talented hitters in Kimmy Gardiner and Sarita Mikals, and both made big plays throughout the night.
Gardiner, who is committed to Mississippi State, led Heritage with 16 kills and three blocks. She also chipped in 13 digs. Mikals, a Houston pledge, had 12 kills and two blocks
Five Heritage players recorded kills in the decisive fifth set.
“We realized after the first set that this is it, and the win won’t be given to us,” Gardiner said. “We came together and fought even harder.”
Heritage (41-5) had two set points in the opening game but couldn’t put away Flower Mound (33-9). The same thing happened in the fourth set, when Flower Mound overcame two match points.
Those sets bookended a huge Colleyville Heritage run that saw it rally from a 19-13 deficit to take the second game.
Flower Mound seemed to pour everything it had into its fourth-set comeback.
“We were down a lot in Game 2, and to come back and win that gave us all the momentum in the world,” Heritage coach Jamie deTurck said. “That made us believe right there.”
Heritage jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the final game and led 13-5 before Flower Mound started another rally. Senior middle blocker Morgan Hatwig came up with a big block to stop Flower Mound’s momentum, though, and Heritage held on for the win.
Colleyville Heritage advances to the regional semifinals, where it will face the winner between Lubbock Coronado and Southlake Carroll.
“This win gives us a lot of confidence for this weekend,” Gardiner said. “We know we can beat any team that we come against.”
Lovejoy d. Red Oak, 3-0: At Richardson Berkner, Lovejoy breezed past Red Oak, 25-16, 25-13, 25-21, in a Region II-4A quarterfinal.
Senior Ebony Nwanebu led the way with 22 kills and 14 digs. Mallorie Puckett added nine kills and a team-high 22 digs.
Lovejoy will face the winner between Frisco Centennial and Frisco Heritage on Friday.
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN