Multiple matches still remain in the 2017 high school volleyball regular season, but already programs from Lewisville ISD and Coppell know they will be bound for the postseason, including squads at Hebron and Coppell recently clinching respective district titles.
All that is left to be decided for teams at Flower Mound and The Colony, meanwhile, is seeding following productive weeks on the court for the Lady Jaguars and Lady Cougars.
Below is a look at how the LISD squads and Coppell fared during the past week and where the teams stack up entering the last week of the regular season.
The Cowgirls head into the final week of action ranked second in the state in the latest Texas Girls Coaches Association poll and are riding a 21-match win streak, including a perfect 11-0 record in District 9-6A.
That mark is good enough to clinch the district title for the second straight season after dropping one match in 9-6A competition a year ago.
Now Coppell eyes a deeper postseason run after bowing out in the area round in 2016.
As noted, the Cowgirls have been on a roll, including sweeping matches Oct. 13 over third-place Lake Highlands (25-23, 25-18, 25-20) and Tuesday against Dallas Skyline (25-9, 25-11, 25-1).
Coppell closed the district slate Friday against Dallas W.T. White (results not available as of press time) and will face Sachse in a non-district match Monday to tune up for the postseason.
The Cowgirls previously faced the Lady Mustangs on a district bye and prevailed in four sets.
In Tuesday’s win over Skyline, the Cowgirls received a team-high 14 kills from Riley Ross, eight kills alongside two aces from Pierce Woodall, six from Amarachi Osuji and five from Breanne Chausse.
Ava Racz and Stella Yan had 13 assists apiece to go with three and four digs, respectively, while Sam Silver had 11 digs and four helpers. At the service line, Izzy Hall and Maci Watrous joined Woodall with a pair of aces each.
Against Lake Highlands, Osuji had six kills and six digs, Woodall put down 11 kills, Ross terminated 12 balls while recording four blocks, Chausse had a team-high 16 kills with nine digs, Silver came up with 22 digs and Yan and Racz had 19 and 17 assists, respectively.
With the Lady Jaguars among three teams (Southlake Carroll, Trophy Club Byron Nelson) knotted at 9-3 in District 5-6A and Marcus sitting in fifth at 5-7, Flower Mound already knows it is bound for the postseason for the second year in a row and sixth time in seven seasons.
Where the Lady Jaguars fit in the playoff pecking order is yet to be determined, however.
Flower Mound entered Friday with tilts against first-place Hebron and Carroll left on the docket, while the Lady Bobcats draw Lewisville and the Lady Hawks and Carroll takes on Marcus before closing with the Lady Jaguars.
Barring a win over the Lady Dragons or Lady Hawks, Flower Mound would settle into fourth place and face the District 6-6A Champion (likely Plano West).
During the past week, Flower Mound cruised to sweeps over Hurst L.D. Bell (25-20, 25-17, 25-18) and Lewisville (25-16, 25-17, 25-18).
The Lady Hawks may have hoisted the Class 6A state title trophy a year ago, but they didn’t enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed from 5-6A after tying with Carroll during the regular season and dropping a tiebreaker match.
That won’t be the case in 2017, however, as Hebron clinched the district crown Tuesday by topping the Lady Dragons in a battle of top-10 teams (25-20, 22-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-9).
It was the second win of the season in five sets for Hebron over Carroll and the Lady Hawks currently sit in third in the state rankings with the Lady Dragons not far behind in 11th.
Head coach Karin Keeney noted the squad was exhausted following the thrilling victory, which came in front of a raucous environment at home.
“We had some big blocks and digs and swings when we needed them to pull it out,” Keeney said. “The girls were pretty excited and were jumping around after that fifth set, but by the time they got back to the locker room, they were dead. I went ahead and gave them the day off (on Wednesday).”
In addition to standout play from their usual suspects, Keeney credited the Lady Hawks’ reserves for strong efforts, in particular in the fifth and decisive set.
“Our subs got us going late in the fourth and kept it rolling in the fifth and really made a difference,” she said. “Carly (Earnest) and Gaby (Pliskal) were terrific and Katie (Farley) did a great job serving. That’s not usually her role, but she was forced to in some later rotations and really came through.”
Adanna Rollins paced the team with 21 kills to go with 19 digs. Annie Benbow recorded a team-high 21 digs, Emma Clothier had 16 kills and six blocks, Lauren Merrill notched 13 kills and five blocks with Jessica Stancliff dishing out 48 assists.
While Hebron has already clinched the district crown, it will look to keep its 15-match win streak intact entering the playoffs. That won’t be easy facing the likes of Flower Mound and Byron Nelson, however. The team is also hopeful of taking on Highland Park in a warm-up match on Friday.
“It feels great to win the district, but we still have a lot to work on to get where we want,” Keeney said. “We’re still not fully playing to our potential in my opinion. We’re going to be working a lot on our defensive to offensive transitions, spreading the ball around more and trying to not be as predictable and working around the block because I don’t feel we should be getting blocked as much as we have been.”
The Lady Farmers were unable to keep pace the upper echelon of 5-6A, but have a chance to close the regular season on a positive note Tuesday against a Euless Trinity squad they already defeated in the first half of the district round robin.
Lewisville entered the final week of play at 3-9 and in sixth in the district.
Last week, the Lady Farmers dropped matches against Carroll (25-13, 25-3, 25-17) and Flower Mound (25-16, 25-17, 25-18).
In the loss to the Lady Jaguars, Jordan Shelby handed out 16 assists while picking up 10 digs, Meredith Wagley had 11 digs, four kills and four blocks, Isis Williams put down eight kills with two blocks, Christian Cowsert downed six kills, Jaya Contee had 14 digs and Destiny Robalino had four assists and an ace.
The Lady Marauders will be left out of the playoffs and settle for a fifth-place finish in 5-6A.
Marcus took care of business against the lower-rung teams in the district, but couldn’t manage a victory against the elite, going 0-7 against Hebron, Carroll, Byron Nelson and Flower Mound with a match against the Lady Dragons on Friday (results not available as of press time).
Like Lewisville, the Lady Marauders and head coach Danielle Barker have an opportunity to finish with a win Tuesday when they host L.D. Bell.
In District 14-5A, The Colony’s volleyball team is bound for the playoffs and will enter as the second seed with a win either Friday over Lake Dallas (results not available as of press time) or Tuesday at McKinney North.
The Lady Cougars (10-2 in district) have won 10 of their past 11 matches with the lone loss including taking a set from the top team in the state (Prosper).
The Colony has won its last four matches via sweep, including decisive wins Oct. 13 over Creekview (25-22, 25-15, 25-11) and Tuesday against R.L. Turner (25-5, 25-6, 25-11).
Jalavia Johnson had 11 kills against the Lady Lions, while Laurissa Zavala had 10 and Jayda Coleman notched seven.
Against Creekview, Johnson had 11, Zavala had 10 and Coleman contributed seven.
The Colony head coach Terri Harrod also credited Megan Truong for her play at middle blocker replacing the injured Ashley Procious — who could be out for the rest of the season with an ankle sprain — with Hailey Baguio continuing to keep the Lady Cougars’ offense in system.
“We were really working on maintaining our stats and setting individual goals for each match and staying focused,” she said. “For the most part, we’ve been hitting those goals and the girls have remained engaged.”
While the Lady Cougars would like to keep their run of quality play rolling, they will receive strong competition in anticipation of the postseason against Lake Dallas and North squads with plenty left to play for.
Regardless of those results, Harrod is pleased with how her squad has competed of late, and is thankful to already have a playoff berth in the bag after battling to the final match (or a tiebreaker) in the past two seasons.
“We’re playing pretty tough right now,” she said. “We’re ready for the challenges those teams are going to bring. They’re both talented and sneaky, but it sure feels nice to not be the ones fighting for our lives.”
Should The Colony win one of its last two tilts, it will face the No. 3 seed from 13-5A in the bi-district round.
That will mean a familiar Frisco ISD foe, and the Lady Cougars are determined to advance past the first round for the first time since 2010 — when they advanced all the way to the state semifinals.
“We’re very confident,” Harrod said. “That’s been our goal all season and they’re playing like every ball matters in matches and practices. We just have to make sure we keep our seed this last week and we’re excited to get going (in the playoffs).”