Even after they locked up a volleyball playoff spot, area teams kept the pedal on the floor all the way through the recent season finales.
Those teams that are locked in — Southlake Carroll, Saginaw Boswell, Trophy Club Nelson, Keller, Haslet Eaton, Keller Fossil Ridge and Keller Timber Creek — weren’t benching their starters to gain an extra amount of rest.
Some teams didn’t want to mess up their rhythm. Some were battling for positioning before the bi-district round begins Oct. 30-31.
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“We have some pretty young players on the court and want to solidify what we want to take into the playoffs,” Nelson head coach Libby Pacheco said. “We hope to have players almost healthy — almost a full roster again,” she said of her injury-plagued season.
“We just want to keep improving, especially in the second round (of the district schedule). We want to feel confident with what we’re doing on the floor,” Pacheco said.
Carroll knows the feeling of a depleted lineup due to injury.
“We are actually getting totally healthy for the first time all year,” Carroll head coach Ryan Mitchell said before the season ended. “We are trying to work on playoff lineups and get us comfortable playing with certain groups of players.”
With seedings still up for grabs, the final two games of the season loomed large for many teams.
With a bit of weight off their shoulders, confidence is gained by teams such as Carroll, Keller and Nelson.
“We still approach every match the same way,” added Keller head coach Jamie Siegel. “We look at our opponent and plan strategy accordingly.”
That state of consistency and steadiness is a benefit, Siegel said.
For those like Fossil Ridge and Timber Creek that were fighting for a higher seed, there wasn’t much of a break from the end of the regular season to the intensity of the playoffs.
The Lady Panthers and Lady Eagles battled for third place spot, which was claimed by Timber Creek.
Coaches from both schools acknowledged big differences between having to play the district champion from 4-6A and facing the runner-up.
“Things are kind of the same for us,” said Ridge head coach, Hollie Huston, who’s taking the Lady Panthers back for a repeat postseason after a long drought, but faces district-undefeated Arlington Martin.
“We try to run a faster offense and we try to change up our tendencies so that film and scouting reports don’t reflect this so accurately,” Huston said of prepping for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Timber Creek head coach Erin Wood said they’ve been fortunate to have multi-dimensional players and have been able to rotate them around all season. A day of “rest for success” was afforded the team on Wednesday.
“We will start practicing defensive strategies and offensive placement once we know who we will be playing,” Wood said before the end of the season.