Hereford sweeps past Carthage to Saturday’s state championship game

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Hereford celebrates after earning a sweep of Carthage on Thursday night in a UIL Class 4A state semifinal at the Culwell Center in Garland. [Matt Smith/ For Press Pass Sports]

Momentum is everything in sports, and right now the Hereford Lady Whitefaces have plenty of it.

Hereford kept up its outstanding play from the regional tournament, not batting an eye on the big stage of the Culwell Center in an impressive sweep of Carthage (25-18, 25-19, 25-23) in a Class 4A state semifinal at Garland on Thursday night.

The Lady Whitefaces (35-14 overall) advance to play for a state championship for the first time since winning the title in 2008. Hereford will face the Lamar Fulshear (44-4), which swept Kennedale, at 1 p.m. Saturday.

“On Aug. 1 that was our goal to get here,” Hereford coach Catherine Beville said. “I think it feels really good. When I was growing up this was the expectation. When I started coaching I didn’t realize how hard it was.”

The Lady Whitefaces used its tremendous defense, swift passing and it steady play at the net to down Carthage (41-5).

Senior Darcy Dodd, who has dreamed at being at state since her freshman season, soaked up every minute of the lime light. Dodd was strong, knocking down 13 kills, while getting on the floor 14 digs to earn a double-double. She even added two aces.

The Lady Bulldogs didn’t have an answer for 6-foot-3 sophomore Taytum Stow. The middle blocker totaled 13 kills and made four blocks at the net.

Rainey Aven dished out 27 assists and made nine digs as senior Alyssa Vallejo had seven assists.

“I think we played timid,“ Beville said. “Saturday we need to swing hard and pound away. Darcy was great tonight. She takes it upon herself to give it her all.”

The 35 wins for Hereford is the most since it won 38 during the 2009 season.

UIL Class 4A state semifinal

Hereford def. Carthage 25-18, 25-19, 25-23.

Records: Hereford 35-14; Carthage 41-5.

Top performers

Hereford

Kills: Darcy Dodd 13; Taytum Stow 13.

Blocks: Stow 4; Bethany Sanchez 3.

Digs: Dodd 14; Rainey Aven 9.

Assists: Aven 27; Alyssa Vallejo 7.

Aces: Dodd 2.

Carthage

Kills: Cami Hicks 12; Faith Kruebbe 9.

Blocks: Kruebbe 1.

Digs: Chesney Baker 15; Kristen Stewart 8.

Assists: Stewart 30.

Aces: Stewart 1.

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