The final week of the volleyball regular season is underway, and Trophy Club Nelson’s magic number was down to 1.
That game to secure a spot in the playoffs – with three games remaining – won’t come easy for the Lady Bobcats, but it is within their scope of control.
Either a win or a Flower Mound loss will put Nelson into the postseason for the seventh consecutive time. The volleyball program hasn’t missed out on the postseason since the school began its varsity program.
The Lady Bobcats, 8-3, sit in third place heading into the week.
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But a schedule of the two teams tied for first place at 11-1, Hebron and Southlake Carroll, are first up this week. Flower Mound is the final game of the regular season, to be played on Oct. 25.
A Flower Mound loss before the Tuesday tilt will also guarantee a spot, but Nelson would love to take a third-place finish.
Flower Mound was to take on Carroll in the early week game before facing Flower Mound Marcus on Friday.
“Hebron and Carroll are tough matches, then we end with Flower Mound,” said Nelson head coach Libby Pacheco. “I think we’re going into the last stretch with regained confidence. They are strong programs, so we welcome the challenge in the next week and a half. We will finalize those things we need to work on and get better on the things we are good at.”
These high-level final games will help Nelson sharpen its saw before the playoffs.
Pacheco said the team was unsure of what the new District 5-6A would hold, but knew the competition was elite.
The Lady Bobcats have risen to the challenge and level of play in the district, Pacheco said.
“This is a really, really great group, and they’re young and we don’t want the ride to end,” she said.
The coming final stage to the season took hold with the seniors when the team was planning out this week’s Senior Night, Pacheco said. “That’s when it was, ‘Whoa!’” she said of the realization.
Central and Keller are playoff-bound in District 3-6A, but the seedings are up for grabs.
Fossil Ridge and Timber Creek will likely fill the final spot, and nothing could be more intense than the face-to-face match which was set for early in the week.
When Central, 7-3, knocked off Keller, 7-2, last week in five sets, the two teams were separated by just a game in the standings, but Central had a bye early in the week.
The Lady Chargers have Fossil Ridge on Friday, while Keller has undefeated Weatherford and Timber Creek this week. Keller will finish with Haltom and Central, with Weatherford next Tuesday.
Central and Keller have shots at the second-place spot behind Weatherford with wins over the district leader and running the table on their remaining games.
The Lady Chargers have been told by head coach Teri Kelso they’re playing for a higher seeding and to get ready for the playoffs.
The win over Keller set all these scenarios in motion.
“I really felt that practice this week was really good,” Kelso said. “We lost Lauren Cox, our leader in kills, against Haltom and it was an inspiration for them to step up.”
Gretchen Zedik stepped in off the bench and led Central in kills against Keller.
“She did a great job and played all around and took on the role she needed to take on,” Kelso said of Zedik. “As a team, we had a great game.”
The Lady Chargers will use their bye date to give as a team.
“Tuesday is blood donation day, and we’ve always wanted to give but hadn’t been able to when it was in season,” Kelso said. With the bye date, the team will have time to donate and recuperate prior to Friday.
The pivotal game, though, in determining who takes the final spot was between Fossil Ridge and Timber Creek.
“It’s an important match for sure,” said Timber Creek head coach Erin Wood.
Then, Fossil Ridge will have another key match on Friday when it meets Central.
District 3-6A’s bi-district round opponents will be from 4-6A, which will likely include Paschal, Arlington Martin, Arlington and Arlington Lamar.
In 6-5A, Northwest, 7-4, remained in third place behind Aledo and Boswell, both at 11-1.
Northwest will face Haslet Eaton and Chisholm Trail to close the regular season.
Eaton, 4-6, will finish with Northwest, Azle and Boswell.