VOLLEYBALL PLAYOFFS: Seven Lakes, Katy advance to Regional Quarters


KATY – Seven Lakes was not about to relive the disappointment of 2019.

A year after being ousted in the second round in a three-set sweep by eventual Region III Finalist Cy-Fair, the Spartans flipped the script sweeping a Cypress Creek out of the playoffs 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-16).

"It's so much fun, it's our senior year and we're leaving it all on the court," Nebraska-signee Ally Batenhorst, who finished with 22 kills and three aces, said. "Do as best we can and it's super fun."

The win improved Seven Lakes to 21-1 on the 2020 campaign and the Spartans move on to face the winner of Cinco Ranch-Cy-Fair in the Regional Quarterfinals later this week.

"Cy Creek is a balanced team and we're excited we're able to advance," Seven Lakes coach Amy Cataline said. "We played really clean today. I'm really proud of how we played."

This has been an odd year for Seven Lakes.

Following a 3-1 District 19-6A victory over Katy on October 16, the program had to stop playing games and practicing due to COVID-19.

On November 7, Seven Lakes started playing again with a doubleheader and would eventually play five matches in the span of a week, going 4-1 in that stretch. Since their 3-1 loss to Tompkins on November 14, Seven Lakes is 3-0, including a sweep over 2019 Class 4A State Champion Fulshear.

"It's been a challenging year for every team, especially ours," Cataline said. "It's never advantageous to sit for two and a half weeks when you're in the middle of a season. So, it's definitely an obstacle and I'm proud of how they overcame it."

Seven Lakes will try and reach the Regional III-6A Tournament for the third time in the last four years with a win later this week.

Powered by Key and Company, Katy moves on with 3-0 Sweep of Bellaire

It has been a while since the Katy volleyball program has advanced to three-straight Regional Quarterfinals matches.

In fact, the current seniors for the Tigers were just being born.

With a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-22) of Bellaire on Monday night at the Merrell Center, Katy (18-3) advanced to the Regional Quarterfinals for the third-straight year marking the first time the program has done that since the 2000-2002 seasons.

"Our kids did a really good job tonight," Katy coach Karen Paxton said. "I think they executed the gameplan. Offensively, Perris Key had a big match. I think Jordan Gamble did a great job for us tonight. I think our other supporting cast, Reghan Jones, Abby Sherman, Maddie Waak did a great job. I think our defense picked up a lot of balls as well, Hannah Hoover had a great match at libero. Really proud of the kids."

If Katy can win later this week over either Memorial or George Ranch, the Tigers will be in the Regional Tournament for the first time in 12 seasons.

The combination of Perris Key, Jordan Gamble and Maddy Chaapel proved to be too much for Bellaire (16-6) to handle, especially in the second set when it seemed like every player on the court for Katy was getting a kill.

"I felt like in the second set we really stepped it up energy wise," Key said. "When we, especially as a team, step up energy wise it contributes to hitting. So, I think having that energy is a good balance for us."

As far as their goals, Key went on to say the goal for the team is "Play in December".

To do that, Katy would have to reach at least the Regional Semifinals, which the program hasn't done since 2008.

"For us to still be going it's a great feeling," Key said.