KRUM — The Krum Lady Cats haven’t locked down a spot in the state volleyball playoffs yet, but they’re headed in the right direction.
The Lady Cats continued their late-season surge Tuesday, winning their third straight District 9-3A match by sweeping Sanger 25-18, 25-23, 25-22.
“This was a must-win for us,” Krum head coach Stacey Lucas said. “It keeps us in control of our own destiny. Our girls are hungry. They want this really bad. They set a goal to prove themselves in the second round [of district play].”
Decatur entered play Tuesday unbeaten in district at 6-0 and will be the district champion. Gainesville was second at 3-3 followed by Krum and Sanger, each at 2-3.
That meant the winner of Krum-Sanger would keep pace for one of three playoff positions, while the other would fall into a precarious spot. Each team has two matches left — Krum (3-3) has the tougher road with matches at Decatur on Friday and then at home Tuesday against Gainesville. Sanger (2-4), meanwhile, plays host to Gainesville on Friday and finishes at Bridgeport.
All Krum has to do is take care of business, and that’s a familiar position. Last year, the Lady Cats were 1-3 before they rallied to advance to the Class 2A regional quarterfinals.
“We just have to keep working hard,” Lucas said. “We’ve talked about taking it one at a time. We want to go to the playoffs, but we can’t think about that yet. Our attitude has been great. Our consistency has been the problem. We’d go out one night and play really well, then at other times we wouldn’t.”
The Lady Cats (26-12) pulled away early in the first set after trailing 9-6. Sanger hit the ball into the net before server Paige Williams won nine straight points (she would win 14 points on the night) to give Krum a 16-9 advantage and Sanger would not recover.
Krum built a nine-point lead in the second set, but Sanger rallied to within two five times, including at 24-22, and then trimmed the lead to one when Krum could not return a Nicole Nordie serve. A kill by Krum’s Kim Robinson on the next play ended the set.
The third set was close throughout and was tied at 20. Krum went up by two on a side out by Sanger and a kill by Robinson. It was still a two-point difference when another Robinson kill pushed Krum to 24-21.
A kill by M.K. Kearney pulled the Lady Indians to within 24-22, but Robinson again ended the match with her 14th kill of the night.
Robinson added eight blocks and two aces, while Jordan Crawford had eight kills, six blocks, 11 digs and two aces. Justice Dominguez added five kills and four blocks, Machala Noack and Ashleye Adkins combined for 10 kills and Williams had 20 assists.
Kearney led Sanger with eight kills, while Kayla Askey had seven, and Jaylen Peuges finished with five kills and four blocks.