Colleyville Heritage has been right there. And yet, “right there” turned out to be too far away.
In 2012 and 2013, the Lady Panthers volleyball program played in the Class 5A Region I championship with a berth to the state tournament in Garland at stake. Each time, they were denied. Coppell went on to win its second consecutive state title in 2012. Carroll advanced to the state semifinals.
In each of those meetings, the Lady Cowboys and Lady Dragons were the better team. Ironically, those three programs are sharing the same district for the next two years (7-6A).
But Colleyville Heritage coach Jamie Siegel believes she now has the team to reach Garland. She has a nucleus between senior middle blocker Anna Walsh, senior outside/right side hitter Maddie Jones and senior setter Alex Janak who can help this program take the next step.
It’s an offensive trio that has advanced Colleyville Heritage from just a playoff program to a state championship contending program. But this journey will be tougher with four district matches against the Lady Dragons and Lady Cowboys.
“It’s a nice triangle,” Siegel said. “I love the new district. This group is determined to get there. The script for this group is not finished. They want to leave their mark. They bought into something. When we stared, this program had not won a playoff match. Now, they want to close this chapter by winning a state championship.”
Coach: Jamie Siegel (6th season)
2013 record: 42-6, 14-0 in district; lost to Carroll in Class 5A Region I final
Returning starters: Sr. Anna Walsh (6-3), MB; Sr. Maddie Jones (5-7) OH/RS; Sr. Alex Janak (5-9), S; Sr. Ashlan Cunningham (5-4), DS
Key players: So. Tatum Ticknor (5-7), DS; Jr. Katherine Anthony (5-7), Sr; Jr. Allison Jackson (5-10), MB/RS
Notable: This veteran group has won well in excess of 100 matches and is 42-2 in district play in the last three seasons…Walsh has verbally committed to Virginia. Jones has committed to Kennesaw State. The two are expected to sign their National Letters of Intent in November. There’s still a chance that Janak can go the Division I route but that’s not clear at this time…• Siegel believes this team should be better if only because Walsh, Jones and Janak played a full season (2013) in six rotations. In other words, they didn’t come out. More of the same will be expected of those three this year … Siegel also likes the way Walsh spent the offseason picking up the emotional part of her leadership skills. That’s something that will be needed this fall…
• Siegel will not commit to running either a 6-2 or 5-1 ... Colleyville Heritage will compete in the Texas Invitational tournament in Pearland as well as the Allen and Plano tournaments. Expect Colleyville Heritage to be ranked in the state Class 6A Top 10 rankings when they come out later this month.