GODLEY — The Godley Lady Cats will square off against the defending Class 4A state champion Decatur Lady Eagles on Monday in a Class 4A bi-district playoff match.
Godley went 23-17 in the regular season, finishing in third place at 4-4 in District 7-4A play behind Stephenville and Brownwood.
And that third-place finish set up a playoff-opening battle against a Decatur team coming off a state title from a year ago. The Lady Eagles (29-13) went 6-2 in District 8-4A play, dropping a pair of five-set matches against No. 6 Argyle in district play.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” Godley head coach Craig Darder said. “They’re the defending state champions so I expect them to be confident. They’re well-coached. I feel like we match up with them pretty good, but it’s going to be a tough match.”
Decatur’s first step in its eventual state title a year ago was a 3-0 win over Godley in the bi-district playoffs. The Lady Eagles won that meeting, 25-16, 25-17, 25-19.
Despite entering the playoff opener as underdogs, Darder said he likes how his team has responded throughout much of the season when faced with adversity.
“I’ve liked our toughness and resiliency,” Darder said. “I felt like we were down almost every match and we’d fight our way back. We just never quit. We’ve had a never-give-up attitude. And I like how our offense has progressed throughout the season.”
Godley hasn’t won a playoff match since 2015, and to end that streak and pull off a big upset, Darder said they have to stay in their system.
“We need to control the ball and stay in-system,” he said. “If we get out of system, we’re going to struggle. We have to pass well and we have to control the ball. If we stay in-system the majority of the night we’ll be fine. When we get out of system, we tend to struggle. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot with mental mistakes.
“We need to have good passes, which has been a strong point with Autumn [Darder] and Taylen [Thompson] back there, so we just need to continue that. Our setters need to put the ball where it needs to be and our hitters need to continue to progress and keep it in play. But we’ve got to eliminate mistakes and unforced errors.”
Godley and Decatur are scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. first serve Monday from Saginaw High School.