GARLAND — The very first words out of Callisburg head coach Angela Allen’s mouth were: “We’re not going to make any excuses.”
When you get to the state title match for the first time with a school record for victories, there isn’t a lot of things that have gone wrong in your season.
But between earning a spot in the final on Thursday afternoon and playing for the title on Saturday morning, eight Lady Wildcats got very sick around 1 a.m. on Friday and did their best, including doctors visits and IVs, to be ready.
“They weren’t at 100 percent,” Allen said. “It was unfortunate it had to go down that way. If we’re 100 percent we have a chance to stay in that match.”
Amaya Brown put down 16 kills and was the Most Valuable Player as Goliad defeated Callisburg, 25-11, 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, to repeat as the Class 3A state champions at the Curtis Culwell Center on Saturday.
Skylar Allen had 20 kills and 14 digs, Macie Satterwhite added 13 kills and six digs, Savannah Hott totaled five kills, Lindsey Bullard handed out 40 assists and Halie Threadgill collected 22 digs for Callisburg (42-4).
“We’re the second-place team in the state and that’s something to be proud of,” Angela Allen said. “We’ve got a lot of kids coming back and that’s something to be excited about.”
Eight of the nine Lady Wildcats who played in the title match will return and try to make it three straight appearances at the state tournament.
“I feel like if we work extremely hard next year we have a really great chance to win state,” Skylar Allen said.
Added Bullard: “Hopefully it’s a much happier ending next year.”
Goliad (35-9), which beat Callisburg in the semifinals last year, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, after finishing as the runner-up in 2015, got 12 kills from Ashlyn Davis and six from Savannah Shaw to compliment Brown.
“They earned it for sure,” Allen said. “They have a good supporting cast around her.”
The Lady Wildcats finished with 33 hitting errors compared to 19 by Goliad.
“I knew going into the game with our condition that if it went four or five we’d have problems,” Allen said.
When it got to Game 4, Goliad started to assert itself after Callisburg held an early lead. But each time the Lady Tigers started to put it together, the Lady Wildcats would pick up some points and trim the margin.
Callisburg pulled within 10-7, and the Goliad notched the next three points. Then the lead built up to 17-10, only for Allen to put down a kill and Satterwhite had three straight in a 5-0 spurt that made it 19-16.
The Lady Tigers weathered the run, however, and were able to close out the match for the title.
Callisburg extended the match by leading for all but three points in Game 3. Goliad tied the frame at one, eight and most importantly at 20 but the Lady Wildcats were able to fend off the sweep. A service error put Callisburg back in front and Satterwhite followed with a kill that allowed the Lady Wildcats to stay in front the rest of the way before an Allen kill clinched it.
The Lady Tigers scored the first seven points of Game 2 and looked to carry over the momentum from their opening win. Callisburg began chipping away at the deficit and closed the gap to one twice late in the frame. Satterwhite and Allen had back-to-back kills that closed a 5-1 run, forcing Goliad to take a timeout when its lead was down to 14-10.
The Lady Tigers maintained a five-point advantage at 19-14 and then Callisburg had a 4-0 burst to get within one at 19-18.
The teams traded points and the 20-19 margin was the closest the Lady Wildcats would get to either pulling even or jumping in front and Goliad opened up a 2-0 lead by closing out the frame.
Goliad never trailed in Game 1 but sealed the frame by scoring the final nine points, including a pair of aces by Kaci Hotz and two kills from Davis.
Callisburg had made it a five-point deficit at 16-11 but was unable to break the Lady Tigers’ serve as Goliad pulled away.
The Lady Tigers jumped to the early lead and Callisburg picked up a pair of points on a kill and a combo block by Hott and Satterwhite. Goliad quickly regained the lead and never trailed again but Callisburg hung around until the latter stages of the game.
Allen had an ace as part of three straight points that made it 10-8 but moments later Goliad reeled off four consecutive points for a 15-9 advantage. The teams traded points before the Lady Tigers’ game-changing run.
“Of course we’re disappointed not playing well right off the bat,” Allen said. “We like to set the tone.”