Ladycats put damper on Granbury title hopes

The Granbury Lady Pirates’ quest for a third consecutive district volleyball championship took a serious hit Tuesday with a 25-11, 25-12, 25-13 loss at Aledo.

The loss left the Lady Pirates (18-16 overall) with an 8-2 record in District 7-4A. They are two matches behind Aledo (31-4, 10-0) with four matches to play in district, including last night’s home match against Western Hills.

With the Ladycats having swept Granbury, Aledo owns a tiebreaker. Therefore, for Granbury to win district, the Lady Pirates would have to win their final four matches and the Ladycats would have to lose three of four.

Considering Aledo has swept all 10 of its district matches, the Lady Pirates are most likely playing for second place – which they could have virtually assured themselves last night with a win over Western Hills (17-9, 8-2).

Granbury swept Western Hills when the teams met in Fort Worth, so if the Lady Pirates won last night, it would give them the tiebreaker advantage.

And, since Granbury has swept every district foe save for Aledo, things are looking good for coach Tammy Clark’s team to enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed.

As for Tuesday’s loss, Clark praised her team for playing better than they did in the home sweep to the Ladycats.

“We did play better. We still weren’t as aggressive as we needed to be against a team like Aledo,” she said.

“They just pursued the ball constantly and wouldn’t let it hit the floor.

“The speed of the ball was definitely something different than we’ve seen from most of the other teams in district. Aledo plays a faster ballgame than the rest of the district, and we do too. They were just better at it tonight than we were.”

Still, Clark said the match against the Ladycats, the No. 4 team in the state, will help her squad when the playoffs arrive. Granbury has advanced three rounds deep the past three seasons.

“Our focus the next three weeks is to be aggressive from the beginning to the end of the match,” she said.

“We can play with that speed, and this will help us be ready to do that in the postseason.”

Granbury will likely play Crowley or Burleson Centennial in bidistrict, the third-place team from 8-4A.

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Aledo defeated Granbury 25-11, 25-12, 25-13

Granbury leaders

Kills – Shannon Helm 6.

Assists – Aubrey Ezell 9, Blair Cowden 6.

Digs – Breanna Crain 8.