Lady Panthers rolling through district foes

Posted Monday, Sep. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Colleyville Heritage head volleyball coach Jamie Siegel breaks the Lady Panthers’ season into four seasons. Sound odd? It’s really not, because it’s a practice most coaches embrace.

First, there’s the non-district portion. The second is the first half of District 4-5A. The third is the second half of 6-5A play. The fourth is the postseason.

So if you’re keeping score, the Lady Panthers (25-6, 3-0) are in the middle of their second season. Actually, this kind of thing is a good mental exercise for a team, because the rigors of playing 40-45 matches can be draining.

“When we approach each season, we meet as a team and write down how we’re going to handle each part,” Siegel said. “Each one of the players said they want to go through it undefeated. So that’s how we set the goal. We break the bigger picture down.”

There’s little doubt the Lady Panthers are the favorites to repeat as district champions. Siegel is aware of that, even though this team suffered some tough graduation losses from the 2012 Region I finalist group.

However, the squad has responded with a quick start, with overwhelming straight set victories over Irving Nimitz, Grapevine and Carrollton R.L. Turner. Colleyville Heritage played at Irving MacArthur on Tuesday and is scheduled to play host to Hurst L.D. Bell Friday.

While the goal is to win a district championship, there hasn’t been the discussion of trying to go 42-0, winning all three sets in each of the 14 district matches.

“We have to show up and play and to play to the level that we’re capable of playing against them,” Siegel said. “We just need to continue to keep working because if we get lazy, and make mistakes then we’re going to get bad habits.”

So expect the third segment to begin Oct. 8.

Some experimentation

In this past Friday’s blowout win over R.L. Turner, Siegel wanted to look at a 6-2 (two setters). Naturally, there was some flexibility with the win never in doubt.

While there were some flashes of interesting play, that doesn’t mean that Siegel is scrapping the 5-1. There’s really no way she would change course with the momentum she has going with junior setter Alex Janak. In fact, the plan is to take the offense to the next level.

“Alex has really been consistent with what we’re asking of her,” Siegel said. “I’m actually thinking about speeding up the offense. [Senior outside hitter] Chandler Templin had a great game against Grapevine and really swung well. She’s really finding her groove.”

Grapevine update

Despite suffering a straight-set loss to Colleyville Heritage on Sept. 17, the Lady Mustangs (1-2 in District 6-5A to start the week) responded with a straight-set victory over Irving MacArthur last Friday.

That win was the first of what should be soft four-game stretch for Grapevine. They played at Irving Tuesday and play at Irving Nimitz on Friday. That’s followed by a match at Carrollton R.L. Turner on Oct. 1. Once Grapevine’s completes this stretch, the Lady Mustangs should be 4-2 going into the Oct. 4 home match against Hurst L.D. Bell.

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