Trinity coach Mia Langi considers District 7-6A one of the most competitive volleyball districts in the Metroplex, but L.D. Bell coach vickie Griffin will do her one better.
“I’d say we’re in one of the toughest districts in the state,” Griffin said. “7-6A is not for the weak.”
While Bell has used its last three non-district matches to shore up an offense that needs to keep pace with its defense in order to be a playoff contender, Trinity wants more first-ball side outs in the serve-receive game heading into district play. Bell will have very little room for error in its Sept. 11 opener at last year’s district runner-up Southlake Carroll, while Trinity has an open date Friday and will host Bell in its first district match Sept. 15.
Both teams start district play with a bang this year after Trinity crept into the Class 6A playoffs last year with a fourth-place finish (6-6 in district play), while Bell (3-9) missed out on a playoff spot. But Langi knows that despite the atmosphere that will likely surround her team’s 7-6A opener against Bell, in district play, every game is as important as the last.
“Our team definitely wants that win. It’s always been a really competitive rivalry,” Langi said. “But we have to look at this game the same way we look at every game. Focus on each set and on each point.”
Last week, senior outside hitter Zoe Howard led the Lady Trojans with 167 kills on offense, while junior middle Elli Merchant followed close behind at 160 and led the team in hitting percentage (.251). Senior middle Abby Morphew led the team with 42 blocks, while junior libero Amanda McDowell led the Trojan defense with 298 digs. Merchant, an all-tournament selection at the Double T tournament earlier in the season, had also notched 39 blocks at the net.
Junior setter Margaret Dean, also a Double T all-tourney pick, led the Lady Trojans with 364 assists.
On Bell’s side, as of last week, sophomore outside hitter Allison Barton led the team in both kills (223) and hitting percentage (.274), with senior middle Sidra Triplett following closely in both (172, .264). Triplett led the team with 30 blocks at the net, and right side Shawna Glick added 20. Glick and freshman Bella Burns had combined for 499 digs, while sophomore setter Sophie Rodgers had amassed 574 assists on the season.
Griffin said a good way to measure hitting percentage was to try to get as close to .300 as possible, comparable to baseball’s batting average.
“I anticipate a really fun, competitive game [against Bell],” Langi said. “The atmosphere will be one of the best all season, and both sides are going to really want that win.”
Matt Martinez, 817-390-7760