Keller Citizen

Northwest gets shot at playoff-caliber competition

Kaylee Payne and the Eaton Lady Eagles have a tough path to the playoffs.
Kaylee Payne and the Eaton Lady Eagles have a tough path to the playoffs. senglish@star-telegram.com

The Justin Northwest volleyball team split its games last week but stayed in third place in District 6-5A. The Lady Texans have another big test later this week.

Although the loss last week was to second-place Aledo, Northwest continues to prepare for a likely playoff spot.

They’ll have a playoff-type environment when they play at Saginaw Boswell on Friday. They were to play Azle in their early week game.

“Our ultimate goal is the playoffs,” said Northwest head coach Jennifer Chandler, “and playoff caliber teams are what Boswell is like. The kids are always up for the challenge. This gives you more experience to play teams like this,” Chandler said.

In her first year at the helm of Northwest, Chandler said she’s seen the team begin to realize goals they’ve set for themselves, including making a playoff appearance.

“The kids are relatively new to me,” she said. “It’s a group of resilient kids that play hard, practice hard and love one another. I want to embrace that as a coach and see what you can do to get the kids prepared to hit their goals they set at the beginning of the year.”

The second half of the district schedule is not only battle-testing the teams which will play in the postseason but also solidifying the seedings.

Although the top half of the district standings may have formed, there’s also teams that are looking to make a final run at a spot for the playoffs.

Haslet Eaton, 4-5, sits in a tie for fourth place spot and will have an opportunity to draw into a tie with Northwest when they meet on Tuesday.

The Lady Eagles came off a grueling five-game loss to Saginaw Chisholm Trial last week but were looking to bounce back against Brewer before facing Aledo again on Friday.

Eaton and Chisholm Trail are tied for the fourth-place spot and the two teams have split their season meetings.

After Brewer, though, Eaton must face Aledo. Chisholm Trail must still face Aledo and Northwest before the end of the season.

But Eaton head coach Diane Wilson said the Lady Eagles won’t get caught up in the conjecture and anticipation of big games which are ahead.

“We’re really tried to scale back that talk and pressure,” Wilson said. “We’ll take each match one at a time.”

When approaching teams for the second time around, Wilson said the team does go back to view video and look at patterns, but the focus is more on her own squad.

“Where we are, we will just work on our own consistency. Being so young, we need to grow each week,” Wilson said. “I’m incredibly impressed that we’ve put ourselves in the conversation for the playoffs. I’m very proud of their work.”

Trophy Club Nelson, 6-3 in District 5-6A, sits alone in third after posting a 3-0 win over Euless Trinity.

This week, the Lady Bobcats will take on L.D. Bell and at home with Lewisville on Friday.

They’ll face second place Hebron on Tuesday.

In District 3-6A, Keller remained in second place at 6-1 behind Weatherford.

The Lady Indians had a bye on Friday and will prepare for big matches with Fossil Ridge and then third place Central on Friday.

Central, coming off a big 3-1 win over Abilene, will take on Haltom and Keller.

The Keller ISD matchups will prove pivotal in helping determine the final standings and securing playoff spots and seedings.

Timber Creek, 2-6, was able to push Weatherford to five games, albeit in a loss.

The Lady Falcons will take on Abilene and Haltom this week.

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