Kingwood Park High School athletics has already seen a terrific 2018 calendar year. Already, two teams, the girls soccer and baseball programs, had advanced to state for the very first time.
Saturday, a third Panther team joined the ranks in making history as the Kingwood Park Panthers volleyball team is off to the state semifinals.
After a terrific regular season in which they won District 20-5A, the Panthers continued their winning ways into the playoffs.
On the way to Saturday’s regional final against Friendswood, the Panthers dispatched Brenham in four sets, then dispatched Cedar Park, A&M Consolidated and Foster all in sweeps.
Saturday against Friendswood, who was the winner of District 22-5A, the Panthers were playing for history.
The Panthers got off to a good start, winning a tough first set 25-21 thanks to a closing 6-1 burst.
However, Friendswood responded in the second. After the Mustangs jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, Park came back to force overtime, but Friendswood eventually prevailed 26-24 to even the match at 1-1.
The third set proved much like the first; Friendswood at one point led 19-17 but the Panthers closed on an 8-2 spurt, with Alia Williams getting the final point for a 25-21 win which gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set, however, was one that Kingwood Park got off to a good start in. They jumped out 4-0 and eventually won the set 25-17, and the match, 3-1 to clinch a spot in the state tournament.
In their first trip to the state tournament, the Panthers will square off against Randall in Friday’s second state semifinal in Garland.
In the other matchup, Dripping Springs will take on Lovejoy. The winners of these matches will meet Saturday afternoon to decide the state championship.