On Saturday, the Licking Lady Wildcats had the task of beating a 3-loss Strafford team.
“Super hard to do on their home court because they have a good crowd section,” said Licking head coach Ashley Martin.
Licking lost the first set by nine points. But there was a spark of momentum in the second set, led by senior Abagail Moncreif and her dominance at the net.
“I really gotta watch the spots on the floor and see what’s open,” Moncrief said. “A lot of times, my coach will tell me they’re stacking three on me, so I really can’t hit — I’ve got to tip behind them when their other players are on their heels waiting for me to hit at them.”
With each of her team-high 10 kills, Abagail kept the fire going, alongside teammate Kamryn Barnes.
“They are the most natural-born leaders I’ve ever seen in my life,” Martin said. “They know how to fire a team up, they know how to come together and they know how to get the job done, so they are my go-tos. When we needed points, we absolutely fed them.”
Licking came back to win the second set, and finally the quarterfinal match, which brought on a lot of emotions for their senior leader.
“I just really love this team. They’ve been with me for four years. They’ve made me who I am,” Moncrief said. “I’m just so excited, I’m just ready to go to State.”
Not only is this Abagail’s first trip to the final four; she and her team are making the trip for the first time in 40 years.