The Cedar Park volleyball team made history Friday afternoon and got some revenge in the process.
The Lady Timberwolves beat Lucas Lovejoy 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19) Friday at the Curtis Culwell Center to reach the state final for the first time in school history. The only other time Cedar Park made the state tournament in 2012, Lovejoy knocked them out in the semifinals.
“When I got here back in January, they told me they want to play for a state title,” “It’s an unreal feeling. But in the same sense, we’ve been saying win one more all season and now here we are. They are all invested. That investment is something you can’t teach.”
Seniors led the way on the attack for Cedar Park, as Luci Albertson finished with 15 kills and Alana Geymer had 12 to go along with 11 blocks. Raegan Sanders had 20 digs, Taylor Nunez had 11 and Vanessa Vozza finished with 10. Senior Lindsey Ledyard had 45 assists.
The Lady Leopards, making their third straight state tournament appearance, won a state title in 2014 and had their 17-game winning streak snapped by the Lady Timberwolves, which are on a 17-game winning streak of their own.
The Lovejoy players admitted after the match that they may have overlooked Cedar Park, the only of the four teams in the state tournament with double digit losses during he regular season.
“It was a good opportunity to get to this point,” junior Andrea Grimm said. “Focusing on our side was the priority and we executed.”
Cedar Park showed its never say die attitude in the first, rallying from a five-point deficit and winning the finial six points of the set to take the early lead.
“The first set gave us some confidence, knowing that we could hang with them and beat them,” senior Lindsey Ledyard said. “We won the match and made history and everyone was focused and excited to be here.
They were forced to rally again in the second game, but an eight-point rally was helped by back-to-back service aces by Ledyard gave the lady Timberwolves their first lead at 15-14. They won the final four points of the set.
The Lady Leopards won the third set 25-20 and led by as many as eight points, but Cedar Park cut the lead to as few as three points with yet another late rally.
“Lovejoy took it to us from points 3-13 in set three, but we closed the gap,” Cooper said. “We had momentum headed into the fourth set. I don’t feel like we got handled in that set. We built that momentum and rode it into the fourth set.”
Cedar Park got out to a quick 3-0 lead in the final set and the lead never got closer than two points.
The Lady Timberwolves face off with Amarillo in the state title game Saturday at 4 p.m. The Lady Golden Sandstorms went undefeated in district play this season and have made 17 state tournament appearances, including back-to-back trips in 2013-14 and four straight fro 2006- 09.
Cooper graduated from Amarillo in 2005, where she played for current coach Jan Barker.
“It was one of the top matches we played this season and we played well against Rouse since that’s our main rival,” Ledyard said. “We’re excited to be at this stage in the playoffs and we were working together well.”