SALADO — The Lady Eagles are returning to the playoffs.
After producing a 4-1 record through the first half of District 27-4A play, Salado needed just one match to secure a postseason berth, defeating visiting Lampasas to sweep the series.
The 25-10, 25-17, 25-19 win guarantees the Lady Eagles will finish among the top four in the district regardless of how their final four matches go, beginning with Friday’s home contest against Austin Eastside Memorial.
Salado encountered little resistance en route to locking up their spot, using lengthy runs in each set to propel it to victory.
The Lady Badgers scored the first point of the match, but the Lady Eagles responded with a 5-0 outburst before increasing their advantage to three points, 5-8.
Then, Salado took complete control.
The Lady Eagles embarked on a 15-2 run, including a series of nine unanswered points to begin the explosion, and senior Breigh Oliver clinched the victory with an ace.
In the second set, Salado constructed a 5-1 cushion but saw it shrink to 8-6 before winning eight of the next nine points highlighted by consecutive blocks from sophomore Lainey Taylor.
The final set was more of the same.
With its back against the wall, Lampasas (1-5) jumped out to a 6-3 advantage, but once again, the Lady Badgers saw the lead evaporate as Salado essentially secured the outcome with a 14-3 run.
Katie Law, a junior outside hitter, finished with seven kills for the Lady Eagles, while Taylor added eight kills and five blocks. Oliver and teammate Erin Faske combined for 24 digs in the contest.
Salado will look to build on the momentum Friday, when they attempt to improve their seeding and help set them up for a clash for the district championship against Liberty Hill on Oct. 22. The Lady Panthers swept the Lady Eagles on Oct. 4.
Lampasas’ playoff hopes are dwindling going into Friday’s home match against Liberty Hill. Should the Lady Badgers lose, they would need to win at least two of their final three matches to even have an opportunity to advance to the postseason.
Morgan Lovejoy had 10 kills and a block for Lampasas. Laurcy Bender finished with 20 digs and a block. Skylor Poole led the team with 30 assists.