San Antonio Antonian’s Maylin Garrett and Michaela Edwards drew Lady Friar defenders to the net all evening long in its TAPPS 6A volleyball semifinal match with top-ranked Dallas Bishop Lynch.
Yet down the stretch in the fourth set, where the Apaches stormed back from being down by three, 18-15, and again in a clinching 15-8 fifth set win, it was senior Nicole Murff who provided key kills that crossed the net unchallenged to steer Antonian to its first championship match since 2010.
The Apaches, who moved to 34-8 on the year, await the winner of Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy and Tomball Concordia Lutheran.
Lynch opened with a 25-18 first set win and Antonian answered with a 25-14 second set victory to start the contest that was a rematch of last year’s 6A semifinals.
Midway through the third set with the score knotted at 14-all, Lynch went on a 6-0 run, but Antonian stormed back with a pair of kills by Garrett and a hat trick from Edwards to move ahead 23-22.
Garrett notched another of her many kills on the night to give Antonian a 24-23 lead, but Lynch junior Lauryn Green substituted in and launched a pair of kills of her own then assisted on the final point to give the Friars a 2-1 advantage with a 26-24 set win.
Extremely confident, the Friars got down early 6-3 after a Garrett spike put the Apaches up by three, but were unphased.
Bishop Lynch grabbed three different leads of two, three and one – the last being a 19-18 advantage after a Izzy Clavennas screamer down the Antonian line.
Antonian tied it at 19-all on a kill to the corner by Jacqueline Kall, then the left-handed Murff slammed one to the middle to take a 20-19 lead that it wouldn’t relinguish on its way to a 25-22 set win to bring the match even at two sets apiece.
Despite being very loose to start the fifth and deciding set, things stated to unravel immediately for the Lady Friars.
With Murff serving, she scored an ace in the middle of a 9-0 run that saw Lynch firing three spikes out of bound and a fouth into the net.
Lynch got a 3-0 run with three kills – two by Clavenna and one by Green – to trim the advantage to 10-6, but Garrett and Murff recorded a pair of kills to set up the match-winning point and the 15-8 win.
Antonian’s Mia Perales also contributed with 15 digs and 54 assists.
Dallas Bishop Lynch wraps up its season at 37-5.