When the Class 4A Region II tournament begins Friday at Mesquite Poteet, the Krum Lady Cats and Argyle Lady Eagles will not be strangers to that atmosphere.
For the third straight year, the District 9-4A rivals are back trying to earn a berth in next week's UIL state tournament. Argyle, the runner-up in 9-4A, faces Texarkana Pleasant Grove at 6 p.m., while Krum, the 9-4A champion, will go up against Carthage at 8 p.m. Friday's winners will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday with a berth in the state tournament on the line.
The state tournament is next Friday and Saturday at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.
It is the fifth time in six years that Argyle has reached the regional tournament, and it's advanced to the state tournament four out of the last five years. The Lady Eagles lost to Bushland in the state final last year after winning the title in 2015. In 2014, Argyle lost to Decatur in the state final. In 2012, Argyle won the Class 3A title.
The Lady Eagles (24-16 overall) lost two of their first three matches in 9-4A play before winning nine of their last 10 to reach the regional semifinals. The loss was to Decatur in the regular-season finale. Argyle avenged that loss Tuesday by knocking off Decatur to earn its regional berth against Pleasant Grove.
The Lady Hawks are 31-14 this season and runners-up in District 14-4A. They reached the regional semifinals with a three set sweep of Rusk.
Krum makes its third straight appearance at the Region II tournament and brings the best record -- 36-9 -- of the four qualifiers, but the Lady Cats lost in the regional semifinals the last two seasons.
Krum has been ranked in the Class 4A top 10 throughout the season has won 12 of its last 13 matches. Krum's loss in that stretch was to Argyle in a five-set match Oct. 17. Since then Krum has won five straight matches and only lost two sets.
The Carthage Lady Bulldogs are 19-11 overall and finished third in District 16-4A. They have won six of their last seven and have lost just one set in three playoff matches, including a sweep of Wills Point on Tuesday.