Carthage

FAIRFIELD — The Carthage Lady Dawgs had a reason to be a little nervous heading into Thursday night’s area round match against the Gatesville Lady Hornets.

This is the round they were eliminated in last season and most of their work in the offseason and this season has been to keep that from happening again.

So far, so good.

McKenna Zett and Cami Hicks both reached double figures in kills and they got a few contributions from other places as the No. 4 Lady Dawgs swept past the Lady Hornets 3-0 for their 19th straight win.

Carthage won 25-20, 25-11, 25-22 to improve to 38-4 for the season and will play in the regional quarterfinals early next week against the Fairfield-China Spring winner. Gatesville finishes the season with a 28-16 record.

“I’m really proud of the girls,” Carthage coach Dawn Stewart said. “This is this is the round we got put out of last year. So they worked hard in the offseason and this is what we’ve been pushing toward all year. They’re seeing the results of their hard work paying off for them.

“They really pull for each other. You can’t help but win with an attitude like that.”

Zett, who finished with 15 kills, started the first set with a point off a kill and ended it with one.

In between, several other Lady Dawgs made their presence felt, most notably Jada McLin. The senior came with with several big kills and shots that hurt the Lady Hornets.

“Jada has so many different shots and that really helped against a defense they were playing,” Stewart said. “When the others saw what was working, they came up with some big shots as well.”

She finished with four kills on the night.

Carthage got four strasight points with sophomore Sadie Smith serving, including an ace it pulled away to win the first set.

The Lady Dawgs relied on the serving of Addison Surratt and Chesney Baker to pull away in the second set.

Surratt took it from a tied set to a 10-6 Carthage lead. Baker took over after that as the Lady Dawgs opened up a 23-7 lead. Ironically, her run was stopped when she served it out of bounds.

A Hicks block finished the set.

The Lady Hornets wouldn’t go away in the third set, taking the lead away from Carthage on several occasions and were up 20-17 late in the set.

But Zett got a kill and Hicks got a block and a kill to help Carthage regain the lead. Gatesville would take the lead one more time at 21-20, before Hicks got a block and a kill; the Lady Hoents committed an error and Faiht Kruebbe picked up one of her four kills. The match ended on a Gatesville miscue.

Hicks finished with 10 kills and six blocks, Kruebbe had two blocks and seven digs, Makhai Lewis had three kills and three blocks, Kristen Stewart had 30 assists, nine digs, three blocks and a kill, Bakerhad 15 digs and Surratt had 14 digs.