Lady Cats upset No. 4 Caddo Mills
By Richard Greene
The Caddo Mills Lady Foxes will likely end the Pilot Point Lady Cats’ reign as District 12-2A champions next week. But the fourth-ranked Lady Foxes will not equal Pilot Point’s impressive 12-0 run through the league last season.
Behind the hitting of Kirby Smith and Ashtyn Richey and a solid defensive effort on the back row from Carson Doughty, the Lady Cats handed Caddo Mills its first district loss Friday. Pilot Point won 25-13, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20.
“We were motivated to not let them go undefeated,” said Pilot Point setter Marissa Morris. “We finally connected and brought everything together. It felt unbelievable to have the hitters connected with my sets, and Carson’s passing was phenomenal.”
The Lady Cats (16-13) improved to 6-3 in 12-2A and kept their hopes of earning the second playoff seed out of the league alive. Pilot Point will play Gunter, who is 7-2 in district, Tuesday. Caddo Mills at 8-1 can clinch the league title with two wins in its final three games.
“We knew we had to beat Caddo Mills and Gunter to be tied for second,” said Pilot Point coach Becky Phillips. “This was an awesome win to get ready for Gunter.”
It was also an impressive win for Pilot Point after a slipup Tuesday in a five-game loss to Farmersville.
“Farmersville was a slap in the face and a wake-up call,” Phillips said. “I felt like we’d have a great match today. After Farmersville, we had two great practices.”
From the opening point, Pilot Point controlled the match with its hitting, defense and serving. Smith put down 14 kills, and Richey added 12.
The Lady Cats served four aces and forced 10 service receive errors by Caddo Mills.
Pilot Point’s brilliant play took Caddo Mills completely out of its offense. The Lady Foxes finished with only 25 kills, which included four blocks for kills. Caddo Mills only had 18 kills after the first game.
“They were frustrated. We were excited and were playing well, and that intimidated them,” Morris said.
Pilot Point jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game one behind two quick kills from Richey. The lead grew to 14, 20-6, after two more Richey kills and an ace by Jordan David.
Mackenzie David made it game point and then earned the final point with a hard serve that Caddo Mills couldn’t return.
After breaking a tie at 10 in game two, back-to-back kills from Mackenzie David built a 15-11 lead for Pilot Point. A kill from Morris gave Pilot Point a 23-16 advantage, and Richey ended the second game with a cross-court smash.
Caddo Mills avoided the sweep, taking game three. Caddo Mills went on a 10-3 run to take an 18-12 lead and held own for a six-point win.
Pilot Point made sure the match didn’t slip away. Mackenzie David served up six straight points, including an ace to get Pilot Point out to an 8-2 lead. Pilot Point built the edge to 18-11 on a Smith kill.
The Lady Cats reached match point, 24-16, on a Caddo Mills hitting error. Caddo Mills scored four straight points before Morris ended the match and Caddo Mills’ unbeaten run in the league with a kill.