The Skidmore-Tynan Lady Cat volleyball team blazed to bi-district and area titles with a pair of wins in the first two rounds of the 3A state playoffs.

The Lady Cats beat Banquete to win a bi-district championship Nov. 2, then routed Progreso in an area championship match Nov. 4.

The two wins pushed the Lady Cats into the regional quarterfinals, where they were slated to meet District 30 runner-up London.

That match was scheduled to be played Nov. 9 in Odem with the winner advancing to the regional semifinals on Nov. 12 at Blossom Athletic Center in San Antonio.

Skidmore dispatched Banquete in the first round of the postseason in four sets in Alice.

All four sets were decided by five points or fewer with Skidmore winning the first, third and fourth sets.

The Lady Cats opened the match with a 25-22 win, then Banquete repaid the favor with a win by the same count in the second set.

Skidmore then took the third set 25-21 before winning 25-20 in the fourth set to claim the bi-district crown.

“It was great to get the win and move on,” said Lady Cat coach Holly Vasquez afterward. “They (Banquete) are a good team and we made a lot of mistakes, but we found a way to win.

“Our offense wasn’t very good, but we kept rallies alive with our defense and let them make mistakes.”

Mariella Gonzales racked up 10 kills for the Lady Cat offense. She also had nine digs and a pair of service aces.

As a team, Skidmore had 10 aces with Gonzales, Jenna Vasquez and Samantha Gutierrez each recording two.

J. Vasquez finished with five kills and a team-best 16 digs, while Brandi Cash had four kills and the team’s only two blocks.

Neddia Gonzales added two kills and eight digs.

Mailey Hardin had a double-double with 18 assists and 15 digs.

Kacy Rivers, Gutierrez and Kaitlyn Salinas each reached double figures in digs with 14, 12 and 11, respectively. Celeste Huerta added five digs.

In total, Skidmore had 91 digs as a team.

The Lady Cats stomped out the Progreso Red Ants in dominating fashion to win an area title just two days later in Kingsville.

Skidmore swept the match, claiming all three sets by at least 13 points.

“I am so happy for the girls to get this win and get past the second round,” said Coach Vasquez. “We played so much better than we did in the first round and we needed that.

“We didn’t make the dumb mistakes and we only missed four serves.”

Skidmore rolled to a 25-5 win in the opening set, then won 25-9 in the second set and 25-12 in the third set.

M. Gonzales again led the Lady Cat offense with 10 kills. She also had five digs and two solo blocks.

Cash added four kills and also had two blocks on the night.

Hardin, N. Gonzales and J. Vasquez each had three kills.

Hardin led the team in assists with 19 to go with six digs, while J. Vasquez had a team-best 18 digs. N. Gonzales added seven digs as well as three aces.

Salinas chipped in eight digs, one kill and one ace.

The win gave Skidmore-Tynan its first area championship in at least 30 years.

It also got the Lady Cats to the 30-win plateau for the first time under Vasquez. They are now 30-9 on the year.

•kkeller@mysoutex.com•

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Kevin J. Keller is the content director for Coastal Bend Publishing and the editor of the Beeville Bee-Picayune. He can be reached by email at sports@mysoutex.com or by phone at 361-343-5223, or you can follow him on Twitter @beepicsports.