LUFKIN – The Cayuga Ladycats overcame a first-set defeat to Normangee Tuesday night and stormed back to secure a four-set victory at Fairfield High School – 21-25, 26-24. 25-22. 25-16.
“There were lots of jitters and stress,” coach Magen Humphries said. “Once we were able to settle down it got better.”
The Ladycats entered the playoffs with only a few returning members from their 2018 team after losing five seniors to graduation.
Before their Tuesday bi-district championship win, coach Humphries listed “playing with composure” as one of the team's keys to victory.
“We talked in the locker room about the first 13 points of the game,” Humphries said. We knew it was going to be stressful. If we could fight through those first 13 points we could settle down and play from there.”
Cayuga was able to battle back their final three sets to overpower Normangee. It was in large part due to the Ladycat's ability to control the ball and push their offense throughout the night. Admittedly, there were still mistakes coach Humphries hopes to clean up before their area round matchup against Deweyville tonight.
The Lady Pirates ended the regular season on a 20-game winning streak as they swept through district before losing their playoff warmup game, 3-0, to conference 3A opponent Woodville.
Deweyville enjoyed a bye past the bi-district round and should be well-rested against Cayuga tonight. However, the Ladycats do hold the advantage of establishing their playoff rhythm.
“It gives us the upper hand,” Humphries said about grabbing a playoff win. “It gives us confidence. We're over the playoff jitters.”
Coach Humphries is confident the first 13 points of their second playoff game won't be as stressful as their first postseason bout. The team has reset itself as they take on TGCA's fifth-ranked Class 2A team in Texas tonight.
This area round showdown is set for 6:30 p.m. at Lufkin High School.