The Lady Cardinals will advance to the regional volleyball tournament for the third time in Melissa High School history, after defeating Celina 3-0 on Monday in the regional quarterfinal match.
The team’s record this season is 36-11 and 9-2 in district play. The Lady Cards hold the co-district champion title alongside Sanger. Team captains are Charley Lane, Sophia Davis, and Susan Blake. Head coach Frank DePaolo is assisted by Cambria Dotson and Kathy Barton.
The Lady Cards last advanced to the regional semifinals five years ago in 2013 with coach Whitney Nelson, and ahead of that for the first time in 2007.
Coach DePaolo gave props to the team’s performance Monday night, where all three sets started off close but ended in victory.
“What I like about my team the most is their ability to fight when they are down, but also pull away in the middle of a tight match,” DePaolo said. “We were winning 12-10 in set one. When Sophia Davis finished serving, we were up 20-11. There was a moment like that in each set.”
Earlier this year, Melissa took third place in the Bronze Bracket at the Pearland Tournament in Houston; the largest high school volleyball tournament in the country. The Lady Cards later finished district play on a seven-game winning streak, clenching the first place seed in district 11-4A.
DePaolo says the “biggest thrill” for the team was their win over Sanger when he was out of town.
“I was at my son’s wedding in Houston,” DePaolo said. “Without that win, the team would have placed third in district.”
The Melissa Lady Cardinals play the Community Lady Braves in the regional semifinals this Friday, Nov. 9 at Mesquite Poteet High School starting at 6:00 p.m. (Get Directions) Friday’s winner will play either Sanger or Farmersville in the regional finals on Saturday, Nov. 10 in Mesquite at 1:00 p.m.
“I could not be happier with how we have finished the season. After our win last night, we have beat the next three best teams in our district, twice each. Being that district 11-4A is one of the toughest 4A districts top-to-bottom in North Texas, beating every team twice is quite an accomplishment.” – Coach Frank DePaolo
Photography courtesy of Buzz Photos.
Maddie Coe, Community Relations