Randall KOs Dumas
DUMAS — There may not be two more even teams in high school volleyball than the No. 2 Randall Lady Raiders and the No. 5 Dumas Demonettes.
That was never more evident than Tuesday night as Randall topped Dumas, 26-24, 14-25, 32-30, 25-23, in a District 3-4A showdown. The Lady Raiders (36-4 overall, 12-0 in District 3-4A) clinched the district title.
"That's Dumas-Randall volleyball right there," Randall coach Jason Culpepper said. "You can't say anymore than that right there. That's a rivalry at its best. We made a few plays there late. We made them when we needed to. I am as pleased as I can be about our kids and the way they fought through adversity. Being in this black gym is intimidating. It was an awesome game."
Dumas coach Jack Wilson said he was proud of the way his team fought.
"It was just a great match," Wilson said. "It was a battle both ways just like we knew it would be. I really though it would go five. I was disappointed that we didn't pull out one of those close games. We had several opportunities. We had opportunities, but we just couldn't finish."
Dumas (34-8, 10-2) showed its fight in the third game. Dumas trailed 20-16 before netting five straight points to take a 21-20 lead.
Dumas had the first chance to close the game leading 24-23. The Demonettes set up senior outside hitter Alexi Davis, who got a good jump and swing, but Randall senior middle blocker Macy Ramsey got the block to save the game. The teams combined to save seven game points in the next 13 points before Ramsey again came through with the block that sealed Game 3 for Randall.
"Who was going to last?" Culpepper said. "It was a great game, we were fortunate to make a play there at the end and win that."
Randall middle blocker Hunter Lenz said it was tough to keep track of all the game points.
"It was extremely intense," Lenz said. "We did really good. I am really proud of us. I didn't even know it was game point because it was going back and forth. It was crazy."
Lenz had 12 kills, five blocks, 15 digs and three aces. Katie Dudding led the Lady Raiders with 15 kills, and Libby Strickland had 13.
"It's good to win, and it's good to get a district championship," Culpepper said. "We've been looking at the playoffs. We are preparing for those as we get closer."
Late in the fourth game there appeared to be a scoring error that may have cost Dumas a chance to win the game.
"The radio had it and we did, too," Wilson said. "We lost two points, I don't know what happened."
Randall took advantage. Up 24-23, Lenz got the kill over the middle to close out the match.
"It felt good," Lenz said. "I told Whitney (Hunt) 'If you get me the ball, I'll put it down.' It was awesome. I think we did very good."
Wilson said his team just missed a couple of chances to win.
"It was back and forth," Wilson said. "Both teams were making plays, and they just finished it at the end and we didn't. Randall is good. They aren't ranked No. 2 for nothing. You have to go out and take the game, and we just didn't."
Dumas senior middle blocker Alexi Davis had a team-high 26 kills. Allison Kiewiet had 18 kills.
Wilson expects to meet Randall one more time this season — in the playoffs — and next time, the outcome may be different, he said.
"I really think we are there," Wilson said. "We are really close. We just need a little more. I think we'll be playing them in the regional finals, and I think we will win."
Randall def. Dumas 26-24, 14-25, 32-30, 25-23
Randall—Kills: Katie Dudding 15, Libby Strickland 13. Blocks: Macy Ramsey 7, Dudding 5, Sydney Harlan 5. Digs: Madalyn Pepper 18, Dudding 15. Assists: Hunt 44. Aces: Harlan 4, Dudding 3.
Dumas—Kills: Alexi Davis 24, Allison Kiewiet 18. Blocks: Kiewiet 11, Davis 7. Digs: Haleigh Valenzuela 33, Davis 25. Assists: Baylie Wackler 27, Holly Ollinger 7. Aces: Ashley Swaim 3, three with two.
Records: Randall 36-4, 12-0; Dumas 34-8, 10-2.