Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Volleyball playoffs: Marathon 29-27 third set lifts Centennial over Highland Park
PLANO — Frisco Centennial coach Kari Bensend will take an ugly win, but she knows her team needs to step up its game to get out of the 4A Region II tournament.
Second-ranked Centennial grinded out a sloppy, 22-25, 25-20, 29-27, 25-22, victory against No. 6 Highland Park in a quarterfinal Tuesday at Plano East.
Centennial outlasted Highland Park in the pivotal third set after surrendering an 8-1 lead. Highland Park tied the set at 14, and the two teams traded sideouts on 24 of the final 27 points.
Highland Park committed unforced errors on the final two points.
“I think we got lucky on a lot of things,” Bensend said. “They’re a really good team. We just got really lucky.”
Centennial (36-7) advances to face five-time defending state champion Lovejoy in a Region II semifinal Friday night. Centennial lost to Lovejoy in the same matchup last season.
Micaya White led Centennial with 24 kills, and Lexi MacLean added 20. MacLean added a game-high six blocks.
Highland Park, which also lost in the Region II quarterfinals last season, struggled with its serve late in the second and third sets. It didn’t have much gas left after falling short in its third-set rally.
“We missed three serves in a row,” Highland Park coach Michael Dearman said. “You just can’t make a comeback against a good team that way.”
Elizabeth Gilley led Highland Park (38-8) with 14 kills, and Landry Ray and Grace Carter tallied eight digs apiece.
Plano d. Rockwall-Heath, 25-20, 15-25, 25-22, 25-23: Plano clinched a second-straight berth in the 5A Region II semifinals with a victory against Rockwall-Heath at Garland’s Culwell Center.
Plano will face the winner between Round Rock and Austin Westlake on Friday.
Hebron d. Flower Mound, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23: Hebron beat Flower Mound for the fourth time this season and earned its third consecutive playoff sweep in a 5A Region I quarterfinal at Carrollton Newman Smith.
Kendall Patterson led with 14 kills and 12 digs. Banner Rodgers added a team-high 26 digs.
Hebron will face top-ranked Southlake Carroll in a Region I semifinal Friday.
Arlington Martin d. El Paso Coronado, 25-17, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18: Arlington Martin cruised past El Paso Coronado in a 5A Region I quarterfinal at Lamesa.
Unranked Martin advances to face No. 2 Colleyville Heritage in the Region I semifinals on Friday.
Prosper d. Frisco, 25-17, 25-23, 26-24: The fourth time was a charm for Prosper in a sweep of Frisco in a 4A Region II quarterfinal at Hebron.
Prosper was 0-3 against its District 9-4A rival before Tuesday’s match.
Prosper advances to face Waxahachie in the Region II semifinals Friday.