Tompkins, Cinco Ranch Reach Regional Finals

By Terry Carter

District 19-6A volleyball coaches received a confirmation nod on Friday that they play in the most competitive district in Region III-6A.

District champion Tompkins and runner-up Cinco Ranch both advanced in regional semifinal action over talented foes. And they will meet for the Region III crown and state tournament invitation on Saturday at noon in the Houston ISD Delmar Fieldhouse.

“It was a team effort tonight,” Tompkins head volleyball coach Allison Merrell said after the match. “They were efficient, and we served really well tonight. Cindy (Tchouangwa) had a great night, and Christin (Coward) played out of her mind. In the second set, she really took the momentum away from them. I’m so excited for her — that was a great moment for her. They all played amazingly, including Tendai (Titley) and Skyler (Skrabanek). Everyone played well for us.”

Tompkins opened the historic night by controlling Clear Springs, 3-0. The Lady Falcons (40-4) never let Clear Springs take the lead in any set, posting a 25-20, 25-13, 25-19 victory. Clear Springs (39-9) ended a strong season that included a district title and playoff wins over Shadow Creek, Atascocita and Pearland.

Cinco Ranch also posted a 3-0 semifinal victory on Friday night although the Lady Cougars (29-12) battled for their sweep against Pearland Dawson (32-14).

The Chargers handed Tompkins its first loss on Aug. 16 after the Lady Falcons opened with nine consecutive victories. The match did not represent the best volleyball each team could play as teams progress and lineups, strategies change throughout the season.

Tompkins bounced back nicely to captured District 19-6A with a perfect 16-0 record. The Lady Falcons have dropped one set in four playoff matches now. After dominating Fort Bend Austin, 3-0, Tompkins beat Cy Creek, 3-1, and dispatched Ridge Point, 3-0.

The Tompkins-Cinco Ranch rematch will be the third meeting between these district rivals. Tompkins has won twice in four sets each match. Coach Merrell has tremendous respect for Cinco Ranch, which boasts several exceptional talents in sophomore S Kassie O’Brien and senior OH Courtney O’Brien.

“We are in an amazing, talented district, and it prepares for the playoffs. But we still have to come out and compete. The O’Brien sisters always seem to be in beast mode. Courtney sees balls before they are even hit, and she knows where they are going to be. And Kassie is an amazing setter. They are a very talented team,” Merrell said of Cinco Ranch.

Cinco Ranch enters Saturday’s regional showdown on a roll, and the Lady Cougars hope to play Tompkins even tougher than before.

“We definitely played a lot better today. I feel like through the playoffs, we’ve progressively beginning to get better and better,” Cinco Ranch OH Courtney O’Brien said. “We played a very scrappy team tonight. They picked up a lot of balls.

“We definitely were wanting to go in (on Saturday) and play Tompkins,” the senior added. “We haven’t beaten them yet, but our matches, they have been super close both times. It’s always been neck and neck. So I think we’ll get them this time.”

The two best teams in Region III meet at high noon at Delmar for the volleyball crown and trip to state. Don’t miss out on this District 19-6A showcase event.

Tompkins players celebrate their Region III-6A victory over Clear Springs, 3-0, on Friday night. Teamwork and efficient play powered the Lady Falcons to victory against this quality opponent. (Photo by Terry Carter/UDPhotos.com)

 

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Cinco Ranch was forced to match Dawson’s scrappy play with some Lady Cougar serve receive expertise, matched with powerful serving and elite level setting. The teamwork and these ingredients advanced Cinco Ranch to a rematch with Tompkins on Saturday at noon for the Region III title. (Photo by Terry Carter/UDPhotos.com)