Dripping Springs was unable to stay undefeated at the state volleyball tournament.
Facing Prosper in a Class 4A state semifinal, Dripping Springs couldn’t dig itself out of an early hole and lost 25-19, 25-21, 25-22 on Thursday night at the Culwell Center. The Tigers saw their 10-match winning streak snapped, and they suffered their first three-set sweep of the season.
Dripping Springs had won the Class 3A title in 1994 in its only other appearance at the state volleyball tournament, but 19 years after their school made its tournament debut, the Tigers ended their 2013 season with a 40-10 record.
“I think we accomplished a lot (this season),” junior libero Jade Beerman said. “Even though this is really hard, I think we pulled it together as well as we could. I’m really proud of how far we came.”
Prosper controlled much of the first set, but the Tigers fought back to tie it at 18. Prosper won seven of the next eight points, though, and Dripping Springs, which lost junior Claire Gravell to a knee injury during the opening set, found itself in a 1-0 hole for the second straight match. But after beating Cedar Park in four sets last weekend in a regional championship match, the Tigers were unable to stage a rally in Garland.
Prosper (35-11) beat Dripping Springs by four points in the second set. The Eagles then soared to a sweep with a 25-22 victory in the match’s third and final set.
“We did refer to the Cedar Park game and how we did come back from that,” Beerman said. “That was our goal, and I guess that we just couldn’t catch ourselves.”
The three-set match might have been decided in the middle game Thursday.
Dripping Springs held a 15-11 lead at the second set’s halfway point, and the Tigers led by two points by the time they hit the 21-point mark, but Prosper fought back to score the set’s final six points.
“That was definitely the swinging point,” said Dripping Springs coach Michael Kane. “I thought we maintained some good composure there in that second set. We had our chances to secure that and I thought if we had been able to pull that away, it would have set a new tone and the confidence would have been restored.”
Senior Meghan Bettis led Dripping Springs with 11 kills, and sophomore setter Madison Green tallied 23 assists. Beerman had 14 digs.
Prosper received 14 kills from senior Meredith Bramer. Tournament newcomers, the Eagles will try to win their first state championship Saturday.
Amarillo, which has won eight state titles, awaits Prosper in the Class 4A title match. The Sandies (37-9) beat Friendswood in four sets Thursday.
UIL volleyball championships
Thursday-Saturday, Culwell Center, Garland
Class 2A semifinals
Schulenburg def. Brock, 25-20, 25-11, 25-11
Bushland def. Crawford, 26-24, 25-17, 25-22
Class 4A semifinals
Amarillo def. Friendswood, 25-21, 25-22, 21-25, 25-15
Prosper def. Dripping Springs, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22
REMAINING TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Class A semifinals
Lindsay (37-7) vs. Round Top-Carmine (31-12), 9 a.m.
Jewett Leon (45-2) vs. Windthorst (35-8), 11 a.m.
Class 3A semifinals
Decatur (39-7) vs. Big Spring (32-13), 1 p.m.
Bellville (40-7) vs. College Station (31-11), 3 p.m.
Class 5A semifinals
Southlake Carroll (48-1) vs. San Antonio Churchill (46-2), 5 p.m.
The Woodlands (43-0) vs. League City Clear Falls (40-6), 7 p.m.
Class A final, 9 a.m.
Class 2A final: Schulenburg (42-3) vs. Bushland (37-5), 11:30 a.m.
Class 3A final, 2 p.m.
Class 4A final: Amarillo (37-9) vs. Prosper (35-11), 4:30 p.m.
Class 5A final, 7 p.m.