Katy headed to regional tournament after beating Cinco Ranch

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 11/9/21

“We came I with confidence today, but we knew we couldn’t be cocky,” said Maddie Chaapel, a junior. “We knew we couldn’t be cocky about it because the previous two games they played in playoffs they beat good teams and had gone to five sets.”

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Katy headed to regional tournament after beating Cinco Ranch

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Beating a team three times in a row is never an easy task.

But that’s what Katy had to do going into Tuesday, as the Tigers faced off against a surging Cinco Ranch team that had beat two higher seeds in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

“We came I with confidence today, but we knew we couldn’t be cocky,” said Maddie Chaapel, a junior. “We knew we couldn’t be cocky about it because the previous two games they played in playoffs they beat good teams and had gone to five sets.”

Katy had beaten Cinco Ranch twice in District 19-6A play and knew they would have to do so one more time to get to the Class 6A regional tournament.

The Tigers pulled off an impressive four set win over the Cougars at the Merrell Center, beating a young but talented Cinco Ranch squad en route to making it to the regional tournament for the second straight season.

Katy almost pulled off the straight set victory, but ended 25-19, 25-12, 23-25, 25-17 winners.

Cinco Ranch kept things close in the first set, as Katy could never get a big lead, but late in the set the Tigers started to pull away. Katy carried that momentum into the second set, which they won handily.

“We knew we had to minimize our errors tonight,” said Katy head coach Karen Paxton. “They’re a comeback team, everyone Cinco has played this year they’ve battled. They’re young but this is a really talented, very skilled high IQ team and they’re well coached. We have to play our best anytime that weve played them and we can’t give away points to them. We did that a little bit in set three and we had to bounce back and minimize those errors.”

The Cougars didn’t give in after going down two sets and built a big lead in the third set, but Katy responded. After going down 15-98 the Tigers tied things at 22, but Cinco Ranch was able to hold on for the set win.

The momentum that the Tigers build late in the third set though carried into the fourth, and Katy grew its lead and never let the Cougars get close while clinching their regional tournament berth.

“We came back a lot in that set,” Chaapel said. “We were able to carry that momentum over and we knew we had them. We knew we wanted to win more and were willing to push ourselves. We told ourselves ‘nothing hits the ground’ and we just didn’t make mistakes.”

The win sets Katy up with a rematch of last year’s regional semifinal, as the Tigers will face Clear Springs at 7 p.m. Friday at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.

The Tigers have now made back-to-back trips to the regional tournament, after having not made it there since 1993 going into last season.

“Our kids have a lot of heart and have a lot of great players that have come before them that they want to carry on the tradition for,” Paxton said. “We had a saying tonight that it was go all out. We had nothing to lose at this point and we just wanted to play great volleyball and love what we are doing. We’re just grateful for another opportunity to practice together and having the opportunity to take on Clear Springs on Friday.”

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