CEDAR HILL — Hope Porter prepared the Lady Hawks for this stage four years ago. She warned of growing pains, as well as a few handfuls of losses.
Walking across the Cedar Hill High School parking lot to the team bus Tuesday, she admitted it’s been “too long” since a Red Oak volleyball team has appeared in the regional tournament.
That wait is now over. The four-year plan worked.
“I knew this group was special four years ago. I don’t know how much further we are going to go, but I knew that these girls could have a lot of success,” Porter said. “It was just going to take them believing in me and believing in each other to make it happen. They fought. They have taken their lumps, and they have learned from them. Now they are experiencing success, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them.”
Red Oak now sits with a legitimate opportunity to add another state tournament appearance to the program’s storied volleyball history after a sweep of district rival Midlothian in the 5A Region II quarterfinals.
Porter credited the win to a great day of practice Saturday and the morale boost provided by the long-awaited return of Serena Patterson.
“Tonight we had spurts where we played well and a few spurts where we didn’t. Not that we played bad, but I thought we just let up a little bit. The further you go, the more aggressive the teams are going to be, and you can’t have those lulls like that.”
Sophomore Hailey Hunt led all Lady Hawk attackers with 18 kills on 33 swings for a staggering .515 hitting percentage. Seniors Katie Hess and Emily North both added 11 kills, each.
Libero Kylie Bryan posted 19 digs while Hess recorded 24 and North finished with 12 digs and 18 assists.
Emily Smith led the way for the Lady Hawks with 27 assists.
The Lady Hawks are now 37-5 on the season.
“I can’t take anything away from the girls tonight,” Porter added. “They came out and did what they needed to do and executed. That is what we have to continue as we go down the road and see where the chips fall because you just never know.”
Red Oak, now ranked tied for 10th in the Texas Girls Coaches Association 5A poll, will face No. 2 (42-6) Prosper on Friday at Berkner High School in Richardson. The regional semifinal is set for a 7 p.m. start, as No. 10 Waxahachie and No. 3 Lovejoy play the 5 p.m. match.