No. 3 state-ranked Dawson advances to tournament finals

PEARLAND DAWSON — The Dawson Lady Eagles showed that they are one of the top teams in Class 6A after a recent showing in a volleyball tournament that featured some of the state powers.

Dawson opened up the tournament in pool play and took out Westwood, Shadow Creek and Colleyville Heritage which placed them among the top 32 teams in the tourney.

The Lady Eagles dropped their game against Round Rock and then won their next two games against Keller and Weatherford. Dawson won the tie-breaker against Weatherford to advance to the quarterfinals.

"We had a team meeting and discussed what it means to be one of the ‘great teams’, said head coach Lauren Leth. "We decided the most common thread in all great teams is stability. An expectation of a certain level of play that is not dictated by an opponent or any outside force. We revised our pre-game preparation and we got ready for our last two matches of the day"

Dawson faced Class 5A No. 1 state-ranked Lovejoy and beat them 2-0.

"It was unexpected to most, but we knew we were capable of it if we could find our footing and stay stable throughout the match," Leth said. "Our blocking and passing carried us to that win."

No. 12 state-ranked Southlake Carroll was next in the semifinal match and once again the Lady Eagles focused to pull out the big win.

"They (Southlake) are an incredibly defensive team," Leth said. "We had to weather the storm for a bit to figure out what worked for us in that match, which was our middles. Once we settled our pass and got our middles going it was a game.

"In the third set we were down 4-5 points right at the end. We called time out and discussed what it means to be a ‘good team’ again. The girls refocused and powered through the next few points taking the win against Southlake Carroll. It was a great show of fight, focus and stability."

The win propelled the Lady Eagles into the finals against No. 2 state-ranked Flower Mound.

Dawson dropped the first game, but rallied to take the second game to force a third and deciding game for the championship.

"Game three did not go our way," Leth said. "The girls fought hard but Flower Mound made less errors than us, That’s the game of volleyball."

Despite not winning the tournament, Dawson proved they are going to be the team to contend with for the District 23-6A title and to make a deep run in the playoffs.

"We achieved so much physically and mentally this past weekend," Leth said. "I am extremely proud of these girls and the way they rise to challenges and fight. It’s easy to tell a team to change their mentality, it’s another for a team to actually change their mentality.

"We focused on stability and we found it. That will be a continued mantra for us throughout the remainder of season."