Nocona Set To Battle For State Title

Three matches ago, Nocona hit the floor to take on its biggest playoff obstacle from the past two years, Denver City.

The Lady Indians looked dominant in a straight-sets victory in that regional semifinals match. After topping Bushland in the regional final and defending state champion White Oak in the state semifinals, the momentum is continuing, with its final stop at the state championship.

Nocona is one win away from the school's first state title at any sport.

"It would just be awesome to be that team that's remembered in the history [of] Nocona," junior Allie Hackley said.

Poth is the lone obstacle in the way, and it's a big one. The Pirettes have made the state tournament in eight of the last nine years. The team is tall, with four players at least 5'10".

"We know we're short. We always have been," senior Haylee Diehl said with a smile. "We can jump though. We've got some verticals."

Nocona head coach Sandy Raymond knows that blocking will be a big key to the title match. When the momentum shifted after the first set against White Oak Thursday, big blocks, along with digs, helped turn the match around.

"We've used our quickness to our advantage," senior Alicia Walker said. "We put the ball where we need to based on our blockers or our diggers."

Add the size disadvantage to Nocona's underdog attitude, which has been familiar territory all season long. The Lady Indians entered state as the lone team in the bracket that didn't make state last year. Players said they felt underestimated after the win against White Oak.

For the Lady Indians though, state was the plan all along.

"That was our goal. That was the picture that we're painting," sophomore CJ Hamilton said.
"It's not completely done yet, but tomorrow we plan on bringing that gold home."

Stay with Newschannel 6 for Nocona volleyball coverage.

Take a look at the impact of senior Haylee Diehl's dynamite kills, and hear players talk all about the big match in our videos from today.

We've also linked our stories and videos from the regional round to now.

Newschannel 6 will have full highlights and reaction from the state championship match tomorrow night at 10!