Stephenville aced 12 serves and dominated the last half of each set to sweep Kennedale 25-20, 25-14, 25-18 in a 3A Region I area playoff at Weatherford High School Friday.
The Honeybees (28-12), winners of 16 straight, face Gatesville in the regional quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hamilton High School with a spot in next weekend's regional tournament in Snyder on the line.
"It's good to get past the area round again," said Metzger, whose last club to reach regionals won a 4A state title in 2003. "The girls were a little uneasy because they remembered getting knocked out in the first round (in 4A) last year, but they came out prepared and played well."
Metzger said the service game was the key, especially when a big run turned a tight 16-13 second set into a laugher down the stretch.
"We were serving aggressive and that was hurting them and breaking down their offense; it kept them off-balance," she said. "They weren't able to run their offense and we were able to run ours; that put us in control."
Senior outside hitter Kristin Kaiser, a 4A all-state selection last year, racked up five of the aces and also led the team in kills with 12 and digs with 13. She posted a .318 attack percentage.
Leading in attack percentage was senior Brooke Harvick, also an outside hitter, at .417. She joined senior middle blocker Dani Huckabee in landing six kills, while Sheridan Stokes added four and Natalie Tiner and Leslie Billings each had three.
Chrislyn Wells and Tiara Green divided up quarterbacking the offensive attack. Green had 16 assists and Wells added 15.
Huckabee, Stokes and Green each aced two serves and Tiner added one. Huckabee joined Kaiser in double figures in digs with 10, while Stokes added nine, Green eight and Wells and Tiner had six each.
Looking forward to Tuesday, Metzger was quick to point to middle blocker Ashley Cook as the key to Gatesville's efforts. She had 23 kills, five blocks and three aces when the Lady Hornets ousted Vernon in four sets - 21-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-10 - in the area round Friday.
"They run a lot of quick stuff to their good middle, and she can move the ball around well and block pretty well," Metzger said. "She's a good player."
Gatesville, which is 35-5, won the 8-3A title. Like Stephenville, the Lady Hornets had a bye through the bi-district round.
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