Lady Mustangs look to lock up another playoff berth

Posted Monday, Oct. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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In her first 17 seasons, Grapevine volleyball coach Diane Wilson has taken her program to the playoffs 13 times. As the 18th hits the final stretch, Wilson was about lock down appearance No. 14.

The Lady Mustangs (23-14, 7-4 in District 6-5A) began the week clinching a tie for the playoff spot. Still, they were expected to wrap up the spot Tuesday against Irving Nimitz, played after the press deadline.

But the bigger picture is that the Lady Mustangs are far from being pigeonholed into fourth place, because the other three playoff teams in Colleyville Heritage, Hurst L.D. Bell and Euless Trinity – all of them clinched playoff spots last week – still have to play each other.

Colleyville Heritage played L.D. Bell Tuesday and finishes with Trinity on Oct. 29. Trinity and L.D. Bell meet Friday at Bell. Grapevine plays at L.D. Bell in the finale Oct. 29.

So if the Lady Mustangs sweep Nimitz and Carrollton R.L. Turner this week, there is the likelihood they were going to be in position to challenge for the second or third seed.

“The nice thing about this team is that it has such a nice comfort level with each other,” Wilson said. “They’re playing really confident together and know what they are capable of doing.”

The news wasn’t all good as, junior Abby Lawton is out with a badly sprained ankle. Lawton, second on the team with 71 kills, suffered the injury on Oct. 15 against Irving MacArthur and didn’t play Friday against Irving. Given the talent edge Grapevine has this week, Wilson likely can risk sitting Lawton for both matches with the hopes of having her available for L.D. Bell.

In an unrelated note, Taylor Kress leads the team with 98 kills and 158 digs.

Just in case

With Chandler Coolbaugh establishing herself as the setter, Wilson still has to go into her just-in-case mode with sophomore Annie Peta.

In some of these matches where Grapevine has control, Wilson has used Peta in the latter stages of the second set or played her for the entire third set. Originally, Wilson looked at a 6-2 alignment for the season but opted for the 5-1 with Coolbaugh, who is averaging 9.2 helpers per set.

But if Coolbaugh were to get hurt, Wilson knows she can depend on Peta.

“Annie still has a lot of learning to do,” Wilson said. “But she’s feeling better about her own play. The way we’re using her is important because we may need her at any time.”

Colleyville Heritage update

Clinching playoff berths are becoming the norm for Jamie Siegel’s program. The Lady Panthers (34-6, 11-0 in 6-5A) did so last week and were hoping to clinch a tie for the district championship Tuesday against L.D. Bell. Should they have won that match, they were going for their third consecutive outright district championship Friday against Irving.

“We didn’t even talk (about the playoff berth),” Siegel said. “We’ve started looking ahead to what we want to do in the playoffs. Right now, we’re definitely working on fine tuning the little things to get us ready for the playoffs.”

Statistically, Anna Walsh leads the team with 193 kills, followed by Maddie Jones with 92 and Chandler Templin with 90. Defensively, this team has five players with at least 102 digs, led by Rachel Goodwin’s 157. Jones has 156 and Ashlan Cunningham has 152.

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