A lot of volleyball teams want to get past the hectic and taxing tournament stretch of the season and ease their way into the district season, which begins this week.
So what in the world were some of the scheduling gurus doing to some area teams?
L.D. Bell took on five playoff teams from last season in a row, and their schedule ahead is no better than what’s in the rearview mirror.
The Lady Blue Raiders will start their district schedule with Southlake Carroll and follow through with Lewisville Hebron on Tuesday.
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Bell went 0-5 in that stretch leading up to the District 5-6A opener at home on Friday.
But the Lady Blue Raiders feel the brutal stretch will pay off.
“I feel we are ready for district,” Bell head coach Jinni Walker said. “We might not have the pre-season record we would like to have, but we have young women who show heart and fight. Our goal is to go 100 percent, 100 percent of the time … to never give up and to improve each day.”
Walker said the pre-district competition was to prepare for the impressively-stacked district.
“I know our team is ready to compete,” Walker said.
▪ Euless Trinity also enters District 5-6A as a highly touted squad, looking to make a return trip to the playoffs. The Lady Trojans will start with Flower Mound and have a bye date before next Friday’s matchup with defending 6A state champion Hebron.
▪ Haslet Eaton, one of the victors over Bell in five games, has gone 4-2 in its last six games. The Lady Eagles got past Denton, 3-1, on Tuesday and will start their District 6-5A season at Azle on Friday before hosting the area’s seventh-ranked Saginaw Boswell (14-8) on Tuesday. They also lost to number 10 Birdville in that six-game stretch.
▪ Trophy Club Nelson will start its 5-6A campaign as the Star-Telegram’s third-ranked team in the area. The Lady Bobcats have faced their own difficult scheduling and dropped five-set matches to highly-ranked Coppell and then to Frisco Liberty. The Lady Bobcats will face Flower Mound Marcus on the road Friday before returning home to host Flower Mound.
The Lady Indians somehow found Prosper — 5A’s new top-ranked team, Plano and Grapevine on their schedule recently. They lost 3-0 to Prosper, beat Plano 3-2 and swept Grapevine. They had also posted a straight set win over Highland Park.
“We like to play a tough preseason, always,” said Keller head coach Jamie Siegel. “It helps us prepare (for district).”
▪ Northwest is coming off a win over Haltom after having to face rated 6A teams Weatherford and Fort Worth Paschal.
“Our team was able to regroup this week. We were able to get several of our kids some valuable playing experience, especially with our middle blockers. We also had the opportunity to run a 6-2 to get Morgan Andress some experience running our offense and allow Analise Lucio the opportunity to swing,” said Northwest head coach Jennifer Chandler.
Rylie Anderson was extremely efficient as a hitter for the offense.
The Lady Texans have seen Lucio expand her role from that as just a setter to become one of the more valuable defensive players. “Most people are familiar with her for her setting ability, but daily, in our gym, she has been tenacious on defense,” Chandler said of Lucio.
It’s been a tough run, but Northwest is looking ahead to district.
“We’ve had some unfortunate obstacles to overcome, but this team has incredible chemistry and is made up of kids that work hard and don’t quit,” Chandler said.