Reedy has been a team on a mission during the last month and that has carried over into the volleyball playoffs.
Fresh off a 25-10, 25-17, 25-14 sweep of Wylie East in their playoff opener, the Lions won their 14th consecutive match with a 25-7, 25-18, 25-10 victory over Carrollton Newman Smith on Monday in a Class 5A Region 2 area round playoff game at Coppell High School.
Reedy (17-6) advances to the regional quarterfinals where it draws undefeated Lovejoy (21-0), the current No. 1 team in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A state poll and reigning state champions, with that game scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday at Prosper Rock Hill.
On paper, the 9-5A co-district champion Lions were the favorite against Newman Smith, the third-place team out of 11-5A, but they still needed to perform.
Reedy did just that, taking control in the opening set and never allowing the Trojans to entertain the idea of an upset.
“We played pretty well,” Reedy head coach Katie Rudd said. “We went out and took care of business and now we’re going on to the quarterfinals.”
The Lions made the playoffs three consecutive seasons from 2016-2018, but fell one spot shy of qualifying a year ago.
Falling short served as motivational fuel for Reedy and it entered the season focused on getting back to where it felt it belonged.
“Our motto has been unfinished business,” Rudd said. “We did not want to finish the way we did last year and they had the mindset that they were going to be successful this year and they have taken care of business.”
While their goal was clear, the Lions would have to overcome another unforeseen obstacle on their road to this point.
As the 9-5A season was getting started, Reedy had a positive COVID-19 case on the team, forcing the varsity into quarantine.
The Lions' only option outside of forfeit was to pull up the junior varsity, and while Rudd said that group played well, they started 0-3 in the highly-competitive district.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, more programs were affected with positive cases, and the district decided to adjust on the fly by reorganizing the schedule and allowing some teams, as was the case for Reedy, to replay matches in which they did not have their full team.
Still, the time off during quarantine was still something the Lions had to overcome and it did not click right away.
Through the early stages of the district season, Reedy was in the middle of the pack, but that would not last long.
The Lions shifted into a higher gear as they went on, not only achieving their goal of returning to the playoffs, but also catching Lebanon Trail to earn a share of the 9-5A championship.
“It took until the end of the first round of district, once we got everybody back and conditioned,” Rudd said. “These athletes have a ton of fun playing together and once they were all back, they started figuring things out and each week we were able to work on something different and add it to the game plan.”
Reedy boasts one of the most balanced rosters in the postseason field.
The Lions have nine players who average better than one kill per set, led by senior Addison Corley (2.9 kills per game), senior Mak Hill (2.8 kpg), junior Camryn Hill (2.5 kpg) and sophomore Halle Schroder (2.1 kpg).
The defense has been good all-around, as junior Kelsey Perry has a team-high 57 blocks, with sophomore Reese Miller and Hill adding 33 and 32, respectively, and in the back, Hill is averaging 5.5 digs per set, while junior Jordan Chapman and senior Tatum Fouche each tally 4.9 digs per game.
Chapman and Fouche lead the team behind the service line with 27 and 22 aces, and Chapman and sophomore Gracie Cagle are each capable running the offense, with 4.7 and 4.5 assists per set, respectively.
They will now have an opportunity to see how they measure up against the state’s elite with Friday’s date against perennial powerhouse Lovejoy.
The Leopards have dropped only one set all season long as they not only look to defend their state crown, but win their eighth championship in the last 13 years.
Though Reedy certainly understands the challenge that lies ahead, it is not backing down and is looking forward to the challenge.
“We’re going to game plan, and just continue to have fun, support each other and do what we do best,” Rudd said. “We play well when we have fun, so we’re going to take care of our side of the court and the players with a Reedy jersey on.”