In April, softball at Fort Worth Paschal was going through an undefeated district championship, the program’s first district title since 2004.
Fast forward to fall, and the Paschal volleyball team is enjoying the same success after the Panthers wrapped up the District 4-6A championship with a perfect 14-0 record Tuesday night.
It’s the program’s first undefeated district campaign and first outright title since 1987 — the year new coach Tim Reimann was born.
“It’s truly a special group of girls who believe in each other and in their coaching staff,” said Reimann, who spent the past six years as an assistant with Paschal. “I’m incredibly proud of the girls for working so hard in the off-season and instantly buying into the new culture.”
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Paschal (32-7) plays Keller Fossil Ridge (23-16) in the Class 6A bi-district round, its first playoff appearance since 2011, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Keller Central.
“It’s great to see the school and community show support to the girls and the program,” Reimann said. “The girls have worked hard to get to this point and deserve the support and credit for the hard work they’ve put in.”
Leading the way are juniors Katie Nance (513 kills, 155 digs, 133 blocks) and Riley Parker (408 kills, 409 digs).
“We have steadily improved every week, taking one game at a time. We completely trust each other and hold each other accountable,” Nance said. “We play for each other and we have fun every day. It’s a great group of girls.”
Another key player is sophomore setter Semira Blair (957 assists, 323 digs), who has stepped up in Reimann’s estimation.
“Semira has taken the challenge head-on and has done an incredible job stepping in and doing exactly what we need her to do, which is finding her hitters, playing solid defense and being a great teammate,” Reimann said.
The team has dedicated the season to 2016 graduate and baseball star Drew Medford, who died in a car wreck on Aug. 18.
“During tournament season, we lost a former classmate and athlete Drew Medford and that loss really opened our eyes to how special it is to be able to compete,” Parker said. “Our new coaching staff has also helped us to become a great team this year — led by coach Reimann, who has transformed the way we play our game.”
UIL playoff teams to watch
Southlake Carroll (39-6): Dragons have nine Division I commits and shared the 5-6A title with Hebron.
Keller Central (32-9): Chargers having their best season since 2010.
Arlington (23-17): 30th consecutive playoff appearance.
Aledo (36-8): Bearcats have an 11-game winning streak. Coach Kathy Goings is two wins away from 650 career victories.
Boswell (30-9): Made regional quarterfinals last season.
Colleyville Heritage (33-8): Riding a 16-game winning streak and won the 8-5A title outright.
Grapevine (31-14): Mustangs were one set away from state tournament last year. Eighth consecutive playoff berth.
Granbury (33-15): Has won bi-district round past seven years. Clinched 9-5A along with Cleburne.
Cleburne (25-16): Clinched first district title since 2006. Went 13-1 in 9-5A.
Kennedale (24-17): Wildcats make the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season.
Players to watch
Maddie Goings, Aledo, Sr.: Oregon State commit has a team-high 533 kills this season.
Kailyn Gilbreath, Boswell, Sr.: UTA commit helped Pioneers to fourth consecutive district title.
Tatum Ticknor, Colleyville Heritage, Sr.: Defensive specialist is an Arkansas State commit.
Amber Strange, Granbury, Sr.: Tarleton State commit leads team with 490 kills.
Cameryn Zahradnik, Keller, Sr.: UTA commit helped Indians to co-district championship.
Jordan McCalla, Grapevine, Sr.: St. John’s commit has 471 kills, 66 aces and 332 digs.
Asjia O’Neal, Carroll, Jr.: Texas commit has 20 games this season of 10 or more kills.
Katie Clark, Arlington, Jr.: 6-foot-3 TCU commit has 10 or more kills in 22 straight matches.
Raeley Crosley, Kennedale, Jr.: 233 blocks on the year.
Paige Flickinger, Trophy Club Nelson, Fr.: Great first season with 384 kills, 46 aces and 479 digs.