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Kennedale
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Lady Kats going for gold

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Kennedale volleyball begins chase for 6th straight district title …

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The Kennedale volleyball team won silver-bracket titles in two tournaments this season. However, when District 9-4A play starts Friday, it?s all about gold for the Lady Kats. {{more: continue …}}
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Kennedale has won or shared five straight district championships. A try at a sixth in a row begins at 5:45 p.m. Friday at Benbrook, only the second Class 4A opponent for the Lady Kats this season. Kennedale beat 4A Snyder on the first day of Argyle?s Sawyer Camillo Memorial Tournament in late August.
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strong tournament season …??
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The next day, the Lady Kats found themselves in a fight for the silver crown with Frisco Heritage, and possibly found themselves, as well. Kennedale trailed 21-17 in the first set before battling to a 25-22, 26-24 victory.
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?That Heritage win stands out because that was just pure determination that we were going to do it,? second-year Lady Kats coach Kelly Carl said. ?We found their weaknesses and we capitalized. … And also, there was a camaraderie among our players of, ?We can really beat some bigger schools.? ??

2019 Kennedale Volleyball Coaches (l-r)

Freshman Coach Rachel Dixon, Head Coach Kelly Carl, JV Coach Cassie Bryant

(Photo: KHS)

Carl said Kennedale game-planned to keep an eye on Heritage?s strongest hitter and go downline on its weakest blocker. The Lady Kats executed accordingly and toppled a team that now owns a 16-11 record and a win over Melissa, a state semifinalist last season.?

In beating Heritage, Kennedale capped a 5-1 run in Argyle and a stellar tournament season. The Kats went 5-2 in the Duncanville Tournament of Champions in early August, and a week later went 4-1 in winning the silver bracket of the Lady Ram Volleyball Festival in Richardson. The Lady Kats also earned a five-set victory at South Grand Prairie that featured an 18-16 nail-biting finish.
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All told, Kennedale is 18-7 and 21st in this week?s Texas Girls Coaches Association 4A poll. Junior Bryley Steinhilber was named Outstanding Hitter in the Duncanville tournament and leads the team with 207 kills. Senior Lilly Rychlik has 427 assists, and junior Tatum Pavey has 274 digs.
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Sophomore Maddie Pyles leads with 30 blocks and 26 aces and also has 192 kills. Her shift from middle blocker last season to outside hitter this season is one of many moves made by the Lady Kats in the front and back rows.
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talent plus depth …?
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?Not only are we talented,? Carl said, ?but we have depth within our own players. They?re multifaceted. So many of them can go different directions. I think that?s unusual.?
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Also unusual is losing only three district matches in five years ? quite a feat by Kennedale. Last year?s Lady Kats were 12-0 in 9-4A, and Benbrook was second at 9-3. Benbrook is 14-9 this season and is led by versatile senior Camryn McGriff.
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The teams have two shared foes: Kennedale swept Arlington Heights once and DeSoto twice, and Benbrook beat Arlington Heights 3-2 and DeSoto 2-1.
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Kennedale volleyball roster

Lilly Rychlik*

Sr.

Maddie Pyles*

So.

Gracyn Reed

So.

Tatum Pavey

Jr.

Bridget Barton

So.

Bryley Steinhilber*

Jr.

Angel Mahjoub

Jr.

Ella Childress

Jr.

Taylor Poore

So.

Katie Spell

Jr.

Blair Ingram-Everett

Sr.

Casey Guerry

So.

Alex Youngblood

Fr.

Head coach: Kelly Carl

Game time tonight – 5:45 p.m. at Benbrook High School – back the green!

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