The Central and Keller volleyball teams will be moving on to the playoffs, but only after the two district rivals met on Tuesday to finish out the regular season.
Central, in second place in District 5-6A, and Keller, in third, were set to collide for the second time, with Central picking up the first matchup earlier in the year.
The results, which can be found at dfwvarsity.com, will not impact the final standings.
Even with a loss and a Byron Nelson win, Keller’s record would put the Lady Indians in the third spot due to the Lady Indians sweeping Nelson during the season, thus owning the tiebreaker.
Keller head coach Jamie Siegel said Wednesday would be the day to determine exact pairings and locations with District 6-6A.
Central and Keller will likely be paired with McKinney Boyd or Allen, depending on the final finish of those teams in their finales.
For Keller, under first-year coach Siegel, there were possibly some uncertainties at the start of August practices, but the team is peaking at the right time.
“It was my first year with this group and expectations are always high,” Siegel said. “But I’m happy with it [the third place finish] and with the fact we’re improving and showing more consistency at the right time.”
A win over Central could be good momentum heading into the playoffs, but it’s not a needed win.
“Every match you want to get a ‘W,’ but it’s not critical,” Siegel said. “You also create your own momentum.”
For Central, beating Denton Ryan in five games was not quite what the Lady Chargers had in mind for Parents’ Night.
“I think we were not quite over the celebration,” Central head coach Terri Kelso said.
Central was then able to go 3-0 over Fossil Ridge on Friday.
There won’t be any warm-up game after the Keller match and Central will use the Tuesday game as the preamble to the playoffs, which will begin on Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 2-3).
“We’ll rest before the playoffs,” Kelso said. “There’s always a chance of injury in a warm-up game and it can be detrimental if you lose and nothing to gain.
“We want to beat them again,” Kelso said of Keller, noting this last game of the regular season will be the first in her tenure at Central that the final game will not impact her Lady Chargers’ place in the standings. “We’ll be playing to keep our record,” she said.
Before losing to Central last week, Fossil Ridge added another district win by beating Northwest.
Although the Lady Panthers will come a few games shy of making the playoff mix, head coach Jennifer Chandler felt the team was able to change the culture of the program.
“There is continued improvement in our program and qualifying for the playoffs is not the only indicator of a successful season for us,” Chandler said. “We have the opportunity to finish the overall season over .500 for the first time in many seasons, we brought home hardware from two tourneys, we were able to gain enough depth to be able to play people in their proper positions, and our athletes were able to consistently compete with nearly every opponent we faced,” she continued.
It was just three years ago that Fossil Ridge didn’t win a district game.
“Not getting into the playoffs is a disappointment,” Chandler said, “but not our only indicator of success.”
Timber Creek will look to pull an upset of sorts when it takes on Fossil Ridge in those two teams’ final game.