FLOWER MOUND — After having once this week teetered on the edge of playoff elimination, the Krum Lady Cats knew there was an easier way.
“They wanted to come out and win the first game and let a little of the pressure off,” Krum coach Stacey Lucas said. “We talked about being aggressive.”
And they were. The Lady Cats (29-14) made quick work of Irving North Hills in Thursday night’s Class 3A area-round playoff at Flower Mound Marcus. Seniors Justice Dominguez and Kimberly Robinson had 14 and 11 kills, respectively, to lead Krum to a 25-11, 26-24, 25-14 straight-set victory.
It was a marked contrast to the bi-district match two nights earlier. Then, Krum dropped the first two sets and had to stave off five match points before defeating Frisco Lone Star in five sets.
“I could see the fire in my teammates’ eyes,” said Dominguez, who matched senior Ashleye Adkins with a team-high three blocks. “You could see we wanted this. And now we’re ready to go to quarterfinals and take quarterfinals.”
With the win, the District 9-3A runners-up advanced to the Region II quarterfinals. The Lady Cats will play Tuesday at a time and site to be determined against the winner of an area match between Decatur and Bonham.
Adkins had seven kills. Machala Noack had 14 digs for Krum to go with 11 service points. Robinson and Karli Hooper led a tough serving unit with 13 service points apiece, while Paige Williams and Rosa Rodriguez logged 19 and 20 assists, respectively.
Noack opened the match by serving four aces. Krum ran out to a 14-5 lead, with Robinson also serving four straight points. It was 22-11 Krum when Adkins won a side-out with a kill and Rodriguez served aces for the two set-clinching points.
The second set was a tight one that the North Hills’ Lady Panthers led most of the way before Krum stole it at the end. The Lady Cats fought back from a 22-16 deficit, surviving set points when North Hills led 24-22 and 24-23.
A “lift” call against North Hills got Krum within one point and Dominguez tied it at 24 with a tip. Her putaway gave Krum a set point of its own, and Noack won it with a tip just out of the reach of North Hills star Taylor Ryan.
Ryan led the 15-10 Lady Panthers with seven kills and three blocks.
Hooper served five straight points midway through the third set to give Krum a commanding 17-8 lead. Adkins closed the night’s scoring with a deep ball that was just tipped by North Hills’ Katherine Slimak.