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Volleyball: Godley rallies past Pilot Point

Profile image for By Richard Greene
By Richard Greene

TROPHY CLUB — After rolling to wins in the first two sets, the Pilot Point Lady Cats jumped out to a 16-11 in the third set Thursday.

But Pilot Point couldn’t put away Godley and its junior middle blocker Jaci Smith.

She hammered down eight of her 21 kills to bring her team back for a third-set win.

“She’s carried us all year,” said Godley coach Todd Weese. “When she stays positive, it spreads to the rest of the team.”

The rest of the Godley Lady Cats followed Smith’s lead, taking the fourth set and holding off a Pilot Point rally in the tiebreaker to steal the Class 2A Region II area-round match at Trophy Club Nelson.

Godley (33-7) won the match, 14-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-17, 16-14.

Godley moves on to play the winner of the Brock and Gunter match in the region quarterfinal.

The loss ends Pilot Point’s up and down season at 20-15.

“We came out strong. I’m proud of what we did,” said Pilot Point coach Becky Phillips. “I’ve never had a five-game match in the playoffs. I’ve never been able to walk off after a playoff loss with our heads held high. But we left it all on the court.”

In her final match, Pilot Point senior Kirby Smith put down 19 kills. Her four kills in the fifth set helped Pilot Point back from a 5-0 hole.

Pilot Point edged ahead to 13-12 and got to match point with a block by Ashtyn Richey. But with three big digs on the back row of Kirby Smith shots by freshman Mikaila Tyer, Godley staved off Pilot Point’s bid for the win. Jaci Smith evened the game at 14 and Godley took the lead on a kill from Leanna James.

Jaci Smith blocked a Richey shot to close the match and send Godley on to the third round.

“They stepped up. That’s a really good team,” Phillips said.

With its aggressive serving and hitting, Pilot Point jumped out to a 20-8 lead in the first set.

Two aces from Mackenzie David put Pilot Point in front 16-14 in set two. Pilot Point built the lead to six, 22-16, on a kill from Richey. Richey finished with 18.

A service error by Godley put Pilot Point up two games.

After a Kirby Smith kill in the third set, Pilot Point took a 16-11 lead and looked on the verge of completing the sweep. Jaci Smith then answered with a kill to start the tide-turning 14-6 run for Godley.

“They got us out of system. We quit swinging aggressively and played sloppy at the net,” Phillips said.

Weese said his players were intimidated early and took two games to come out of their shell.

“When we first got here and saw them hitting, we were shell-shocked,” Weese said. “I told the kids to relax and just play. We finally started serve-receiving better and got over the shell shock.”