The Grapevine volleyball team turned over its roster in 2015. But history is repeating itself. The Lady Mustangs (31-16) swept their bi-district and area playoff matches to advance to Tuesday’s Class 5A Region I quarterfinal against Saginaw Boswell at Keller Timber Creek.
Head coach Kori Cooper has watched many of her freshmen mature and impress. However, the leadership summoned by senior Taylor Kress and junior Jordan McCalla has served as a bonding agent.
“Taylor has strung several good matches together,” she said. “She’s playing really hard and with a sense of urgency. Everything is meaningful to her.”
While Grapevine has not dropped a game in the postseason, it doesn’t mean that this hasn’t been a challenge for this team. In two of the three games against Burleson Centennial, Grapevine won tightly contested games, 25-21 and 25-23.
Grapevine dropped a game at Lake Dallas on the night it won the District 6-5A championship. But the caliber of the competition has obviously changed to where this team must make major adjustments with its intensity. Cooper liked what she saw through the first week of the postseason.
“With the sense of urgency we’re playing with, they can see they have an opportunity and want to work to find that vision,” Cooper said. “We’re playing the way you hope you would when you get to this point of the season.”
What helps is that this team can work outside its system for points. By that, the Lady Mustangs don’t have to wait for the serve receive and then the set in order to score. If something breaks down, they still can find a way, Cooper said.
About Saginaw Boswell
The Lady Pioneers (38-6) have enjoyed an extraordinary season. Like Grapevine, they swept their district (5-5A) by going 14-0. Boswell dropped only one game in district play and also defeated several Class 6A teams in Keller, Hurst L.D. Bell, Northwest Byron Nelson and Keller Central.
If the Lady Mustangs are going to have a chance to advance to the Region I tournament in Kimbrell arena in Abilene this weekend, they will have to have strong performances from Kress and McCalla. The Lady Pioneers’ strength is considered in the middle of the floor.
Of course, Grapevine advanced to the 2014 Class 5A Region I quarterfinals before falling to Granbury.
“This is a very different group,” Cooper said. “With our freshman and the way everybody has grown together, it’s a credit to them. It’s a different story. It’s a different journey. It would be a disservice to the players on this team and last year’s team to use any comparison.”
Colleyville Heritage season ends
Head coach Hollie Huston’s first season concluded this past Friday when the Lady Panthers (21-24) fell to Plano in three games in the Class 6A Region I area round.
While the roster faced challenges because of turnover and key players not being available for a part of the season, they still found a way to advance to the postseason and win bi-district. This team will have to replace several major senior losses, including setter Kat Anthony, defensive specialist Rachel Goodwin and middle blocker Allison Jackson.
But there is a good core returning in freshman middle blocker Ashley McKillop and right side/middle blocker Jill Dickens.
“We had many changes throughout the season with injuries and additions that kept us guessing what the best combination was going to be,” Huston said. “I am very proud of the kids for rolling with the punches of change. Our seniors will be missed, but we’ve got a core group of youngsters with some real experience under their belt.”