By Michael Finnegan / Special Contributor
ALLEN — Highland Park breezed through its second playoff match in three days, sweeping Rockwall, 25-16, 25-23, 25-20, on Thursday in the Class 6A Region II area round.
The Lady Scots advance to play Waco Midway in the regional quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Red Oak.
Ahead 17-15 in the first set, Falyn Reaugh hit a punishing kill to give the Lady Scots the momentum. Behind good serving by Madeline Bonnet, HP (42-6) went on a 7-1 run and closed out the first set on a spike by Jordan Westendorff.
“Bonnet was awesome tonight,” said HP head coach Michael Dearman. “She set well, defended well, and was our overall leader tonight.”
The second set was not as easy for the Lady Scots. The Lady Jackets (28-14) went up 20-19 after a kill by Bayleigh Scott, and with the score tied at 23-23, HP went up after a service error. Peyton Eisnaugle came up with a block to win the set for the Lady Scots.
“Our veteran leadership came into play tonight,” said Dearman. “We wanted to keep them out of their system, and hit the ball deep.”
Much like the second set, the third set was close. Tied at 13-13, Eisnaugle posted a kill and then blocked a Rockwall spike to put HP in front at 15-13.
Hanging on to a 21-18 lead, Reaugh drilled a shot just inside the line to put the Lady Scots on top 22-18. Greer Gordon served for the win and Westendorff’s kill on match point secured the victory.
“We were prepared for this match,” said Dearman. “We knew Scott was their best hitter, so we wanted to keep the ball away from her and keep them out of their comfort zone.”