Keller Citizen

Keller, Nelson move on to area quarters, could meet

Jayden Nembhard and the Keller volleyball team could face Trophy Club Nelson in the area semifinals.
Jayden Nembhard and the Keller volleyball team could face Trophy Club Nelson in the area semifinals. Courtesy Photo

Trophy Club Nelson and Keller have survived the first two rounds of the volleyball playoffs and now have the potential to face each other later this week.

Nelson, with wins over Plano and South Grand Prairie, was to take on Hebron early in the week while Keller, victor over Arlington and El Paso El Dorado, was set to face Midland.

Should each team win its area quarterfinal, they’d face each other in the 6A Region I area semifinals.

Results of the quarterfinal games are available at www.dfwvarsity.com.

Keller, which breezed past Arlington (25-14, 25-14, 25-19), needed four sets to get past El Dorado.

“The girls are playing well,” said Keller head coach Jamie Siegel.

The Lady Indians were on the road to Abilene Cooper to take on Midland for Tuesday’s game.

A win over Midland would bring Keller back closer to home for the semifinal round.

Midland had to scratch for a five-set win over El Paso Franklin in the first round before taking care of Fort Worth Paschal, 3-1, last week.

The playoffs tend to favor balanced team play over those squads with just one or two standouts.

For that reason, Keller is well-positioned.

“The young ladies are executing the game plans and playing together,” Siegel said. “All the matches have been a full team effort.”

Nelson took five sets to dispose of Plano and then swept South Grand Prairie.

Nelson was to be facing Hebron for the fourth time in this season, meeting them in tournament play before facing them twice in the district schedule. Hebron had taken the first meetings in 3-0 fashion.

The first two rounds saw Nelson play with the energy and focus that head coach Libby Pacheco was hoping to see.

“We’ve learned about ourselves and drawn from those experiences,” Pacheco said. “We’re a young team and that’s a sign of growth and maturity.”

The familiarity with Hebron was a bonus for the Lady Bobcats as they have a quick turnaround to prepare for the Lady Hawks.

“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks,” Pacheco said of the stretch run toward the playoffs for her team and the first two rounds. “The playoffs have a different feel and energy and the games mean more. It’s just a matter of getting ready to execute,” she said of the rapid-fire succession of games each week.

“You celebrate and start getting ready for the next one,” Pacheco added after the South Grand Prairie win.

Keller Central and Justin Northwest posted first-round playoff wins but ended their respective seasons in the second round.

Northwest lost in the second round to Colleyville Heritage, 3-0. But the Lady Texans notched a first round win over Wichita Falls Rider, 3-0.

“This team was comprised of a group of girls that genuinely loved and supported one another,” said Northwest’s first-year head coach Jennifer Chandler. “It was our first season together and I am pleased with the foundation that was set, the core values created and the level of expectation for our program implemented for the future,” she said.

Chandler acknowledged the loss of a of a talented senior group which has left its mark on the program and broken records along the way.

Central, after beating Arlington Martin, 3-1, ended its season after losing to El Paso Coronado, 3-1.

“It was a great year,” said Central head coach Terri Kelso. “This group knew the meaning of ‘team’ and worked for each other every day. This team raised the bar at Central.”

Fossil Ridge had also made it to the postseason but lost to Fort Worth Paschal in the first round, 3-1, but it was definitely a strong finish for the Lady Panthers. Ridge returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

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