ROBINSON — Bishop Lynch advanced to Saturday’s 6A championship after a three-set win (25-16, 25-20, 25-22) over San Antonio Antonian at Robinson High School.
Providence signee Lyric Berry, who was ranked the seventh-best recruit in the Dallas area in the Class of 2023, had five of her eight kills in the opening set, one in which she never fell short as Bishop Lynch scored the first three and the set finished with a 4-0 series.
Arkansas promise Lauryn Lambert, a junior, had five of her 11 team-high kills in the second set. After scoring the first point in the third set, Bishop Lynch went on to score three points in a row and never gave up the lead in that set, with Berry scoring the final death point and sending the brothers into the championship.
“We were well prepared for this game,” said Bishop Lynch head coach Shea Jenkins. “We trained all week to prepare for this team. Overall, we simply played a solid game.”
Senior Jessica Canavan and junior Judith Hatfield each had 13 assists and six assists for Bishop Lynch, while sophomore Madeleine Smotherman had 8 assists and two assists. Lambert added six digs in a strong defensive effort by Bishop Lynch.
“We executed our game plan,” Berry said. “We wanted to play our game and we did.”
Lambert added: “We played hard. Solid all round. We are ready.”
Bishop Lynch (33-10), playing his first state tournament since 2019 and 14th overall, is looking forward to taking on well-known opponent Prestonwood Christian in Saturday’s championship.
“It’s going to be a great game,” said coach Jenkins. “We look forward to the challenge.”
Bishop Lynch’s 12 consecutive state tournament appearances from 2008 to 2019 — including winning four straight titles from 2012 to 2015 — is the longest-ever streak at TAPPS, with three teams next and seven straight. Bishop Lynch also won championships in 2004 and 2008. Bishop Lynch’s 14 state tournament appearances is second in TAPPS all-time, after Houston St. Agnes’ 19 trips to the Final Four.
San Antonio Antonian (38-12) had won 14 straight games – all three sets – since a 3-2 five-set loss to San Antonio Reagan on Sept. 30 that followed a 14-game winning streak.
Prestonwood Christian sweeps Parish Episcopal
ROBINSON — The Prestonwood Christian Academy Lions advanced to the TAPPS 6A girls’ volleyball final with a three-set win (25-14, 25-15, 25-19) over district enemy Parish Episcopal at Robinson High School.
Prestonwood Christian went 5-0 in the opening set and never fell behind as Macaria Spears had four of their six kills in an 8-2 run in the second set to end it.
“That quick start set the tone of the game for us,” said head coach Ryan Mitchell.
“We came out confident,” said Spears, daughter of former Dallas Cowboys defenseman Marcus Spears. “We knew we had to be ready to play.”
Spears served three consecutive aces to highlight the second set, which also featured USC pledge junior Jadyn Livings, who had seven of her 14 kills that led the team. “This team has such a big heart,” commented Livings. “And we played with intensity.”
Parish Episcopal (15-7-1) scored the first three points of the final set, starting with an ace from UCLA beach volleyball signer Harper Cooper, and led 14-12 before Prestonwood responded with a 5-0 run — carried from a pair of Spears kill points – to regain a lead it never gave up with a match-ending Livings kill point to send the Lions to the title game.
“I thought we had a good balance going forward,” added Coach Mitchell. “Good ball distribution. Very proud of their commitment.”
Livings added the team’s top 15 digs, also registered two blocks, an assist and served an ace. Spears had 13 kills, seven digs, 1.5 blocks and the three aces.
Junior Camille Edwards dished out 28 assists, along with five digs, two kills, and one ace. TCU Pledge, junior Mikala Young, recorded nine kills, seven digs, and one block and one ace. Sophomore Gillian Pitts helped the defense with 12 digs lead while adding two assists offensively. Junior Kennedy Washington had six kills, two digs and three blocks at team level.
Prestonwood Christian (38-1) had two regular-season wins in three sets against Parish Episcopal (15-7-1), who made his fourth overall appearance at a state tournament and first since 2013, and won his only state title in 2008.
A three-set trio — via Fort Worth Nolan, Houston St. Pius X and San Antonio Incarnate Word — allowed Parish Episcopal to reach the Final Four that season.
It was the 27th consecutive win for PCA, nationally No. 3 on the AVCA/USA Today league table, with the only loss to nationally ranked second-ranked team San Antonio Cornerstone in straight sets (21-25, 15-25) returned on 08/27.
PCA handed Highland Park — the state’s top-ranked 6A team to enter the UIL playoffs — its only two losses during the regular season. After earning byes for the B District and Area, Prestonwood Christian defeated Ursuline in three sets to make his 10th overall appearance at a state tournament.
PCA advances to Saturday’s noon championship game at University High School in Waco.
Dallas Lutheran falls to Round Rock Christian in 3A Championship
WACO — Dallas Lutheran, playing in its first-ever title match, lost in four sets (23-25, 25-13, 25-17, 25-19) to defending champion Round Rock Christian Academy in the 3A Championship. at the university high school.
Lutheran captured the opening set, but Round Rock Christian (48-4) responded with three straight hits to win their second straight state title.
“This team set itself the goal back in August to be better than a year ago,” said head coach Kurt Frieling. “And we did that. I’m so proud of this group. Beating Lubbock Christian in the semifinals was huge for us and the program.”
Dallas Lutheran (29-8-2) had ousted Lubbock Christian in four sets in the semifinals to advance to his first-ever TAPPS championship game. It had defeated Weatherford Christian in three sets in the area round and then eliminated Denton Calvary 3-1 to earn its second straight state tournament appearance and overall. Lutheran failed in last year’s semifinals at Midland Classical Academy.
Round Rock Christian’s seven straight tournament appearances is the longest active streak in TAPPS, finishing second all-time with Boerne Geneva and Tomball Concordia Lutheran, the latter being stopped this season. Bishop Lynch leads with 12 consecutive Final Four appearances all-time.
Millie Olsson, a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi signee, was named to the Dallas Lutheran All-Tourney team, along with teammates Alex Dever, Ava Pope and Lauren Pittman.
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