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ET Volleyball: Carthage earns sweep, claims regional spot

By Hayden Henry
Nov. 7, 2017 at 10:22 p.m.

TYLER — It was a little more than just reloading coming into this season for Carthage.

That happened, yes, but along the way it was about figuring it out to come together at the right time.

And Carthage's timing has been perfect.

Using a total-team effort, Carthage battled past Wills Point for a sweep (25-22, 25-16, 25-20) in a Class 4A, Region II quarterfinal match at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gym on Tuesday night, sending the Lady Dawgs to the regional tournament for the second-straight year.

"No one gives you a trip to the regional tournament," Carthage head coach Leven Barker said. "It's all about these kids, their parents and these coaches.

"We worked all year and talked all year about peaking at the right time. They're doing that, right now is the right time."

Carthage (30-12) will meet Krum in a rematch of last year's regional semifinal at 8 p.m. Friday at Poteet High School in Mesquite. Pleasant Grove will take on Argyle in the other semifinal at 6 p.m.

Wills Point, the fourth-place finisher out of District 13-4A, didn't make it easy on Carthage on Tuesday. The Lady Tigers, making their deepest playoff run since 2002, rallied back in all three sets.

Each time, however, Carthage had an answer.

Mattison Doffitt led the charge offensively with 11 kills and was followed by Emily Pyle and Carson Robertson, who added six to a multi-look Carthage offense.

Kim Worsham had 16 assists and Lexi Alexander had 10.

"We're getting better," Barker said. "Our offense has not been our strongest point until late in district and the postseason.

"We're not a one-girl team. We've got several different lineups that we can do and we're used to it."

That showed late in the third set with a sizeable front of Robertson, Doffitt and Kalli Cuff recording four blocks in a pivotal 5-0 run for Carthage.

DeDe Pope also aided in that department, finishing with five blocks on the night.

Defensively, Courtney Edge had 23 digs, Robertson added 10 and Worsham and Alexander finished with eight and six, respectively.

Carthage saw an 11-point lead slip to a 22-20 lead for Wills Point in the opening set. Lizzie Walker had an ace in a 5-0 run to close out the 25-22 Lady Dawg win.

Walker did the same in the second set after an 11-all tie with Pyle recording two kills in a 5-0 run to complete the 25-16 win.

Wills Point used a 10-1 run in the third before Doffitt had three kills and two blocks to send Carthage forward.

Claire Hiler turned in a dominant 17-kill night to lead Wills Point.

"Hats off to Wills Point on an incredible run," Barker said. "For us, to be where we were in district not playing well to where we are now, they're just showing a lot of heart and doing it together."

(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h)



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