Lady Panthers, Mustangs enter playoffs expecting challenges

Posted Monday, Nov. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The Colleyville Heritage volleyball team completed its mission on Oct. 29 when it swept Euless Trinity and completed a perfect District 6-5A season at 14-0.

Not to rest on that achievement, the Lady Panthers (38-6) also swept Prosper in a warm-up match this past Friday night as they prepared to play Flower Mound Marcus in the Class 5A Region I bi-district match Monday night at Irving MacArthur. See dfwvarsity.com for the result.

“I think the Prosper match was good for us because we got some different looks and it made us get to some balls that we haven’t had to get to during the district season,” Colleyville Heritage coach Jamie Siegel said. “We had to work to get balls to the middle. It wasn’t the statement that we wanted, but this was what we needed to have before the playoffs start.”

Even though Siegel played her warm-up match on Friday, she wanted to play the bi-district match on Monday against Marcus because the Lady Marauders and Lewisville tied for fourth in District 5-5A and played each other in the play in match on Friday. Siegel won the coin flip so the turnaround time would be shorter.

Had the Lady Panthers advanced to the area round, they would play the winner of Mansfield Timberview vs. Belton. Nothing preliminary with either program had been discussed as of late Sunday, Siegel said.

Playing in Garland if…

Colleyville Heritage came just one match shy of playing in the Class 5A state tournament last year as it fell to eventual two-time state champion Coppell in the Region I final.

But Siegel said she hasn’t used that disappointment as fuel to drive this team to make a deep run to reach the state tournament in Garland in three weeks. Admittedly, she said she needs strong performances from senior outside hitter Rachel Hicks and junior defensive specialist Ashlan Cunningham to help make the push.

“I think we’ll be ready for [the playoffs],” Siegel said. “We’re ready for nonstop, competitive volleyball. We had a good practice on Saturday. I feel good about where we are but it’s a new season. If we consistently pass the ball well and are disciplined on defense, we can go a long way.”

Grapevine had a challenge

The disappointment from losing to Hurst L.D. Bell in the regular season finale on Oct. 29 was twofold for the Lady Mustangs (25-15). Not only did they fall in five sets to finish fourth in 6-5A at 9-5, they also lost freshman phenom Parker Fenton for the season with a broken hand.

During the match, Fenton went for a ball and ran into a wall, fracturing her hand in four places, head coach Diane Wilson said. So Wilson had to turn to senior Devon McGowan and freshman Jordan McCalla, who has spent time with varsity this year.

Grapevine’s loss proved costly, because it faced Coppell on Monday in the bi-district round. Wilson knew the challenge would be tremendous. If the Lady Mustangs pulled off the upset, they would face the winner of Waco Midway-Midlothian in the area round. Regardless of the outcome, this team has 11 players returning in 2014. Results at dfwvarsity.com.

“It’s just a situation where we have to go out and be who we are,” Wilson said. “All season, this team has been pretty conservative with its enthusiasm. They believe in their skill sets and will battle.”

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