For Grapevine, the last week of the high school volleyball regular season was pretty much an exercise of making sure team weaknesses were corrected and strengths were accentuated.
There wasn’t anything Grapevine could do about the District 8-5A championship. That was gone when Colleyville Heritage swept the rematch on Oct. 21 to claim the outright title. The Lady Mustangs (31-14) had to put themselves in a better mental state as the playoffs started Tuesday in the bi-district round against Fort Worth Trimble Tech at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.
“We’ve just had to work on being prepared for any scenario,” Grapevine coach Whitney Woody said. “I’m looking for a focus and intensity from them. I want to see that fire in them all the way through.”
Had Grapevine won, it would have advanced to the area round, where it would meet the winner of Denton Ryan and Saginaw. That match likely would be held on Friday.
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While Grapevine hoped to earn a share of the district title, being swept by the Lady Panthers certainly caught this team by surprise. Woody gave Colleyville Heritage credit.
“They were on fire and played great,” Woody said. “They had a great match. We were caught on our heels too fast and could not recover. We were also a little flat.”
In this postseason, Woody is hoping her middle blockers of Hailey Johnson, Savannah Kjolhede and Kerstynn Grobe can be offensive threats to complement what Symone Wesley and Jordan McCalla are already providing.
The scouting report on Grapevine likely focuses on those at the pin. But the more diverse this group is, the better it will play and more difficult to defend.
This team is also looking to erase history. Last year, it missed going to the state tournament by one game. It lost to Canyon Randall in five games after it won the first two. In order to duplicate it and get to the state tournament Nov. 18-19 at the Culwell Center in Garland, consistency is going to be the theme.
Whitney characterized a long and short playoff run in the following:
Long playoff run: “If we can get our offense going and be aggressive servers.”
Short playoff run: “If we continue to rest on our laurels and think we’ve done enough.”
Colleyville Heritage (33-8): The outright District 8-5A champions played host to Fort Worth South Hills Tuesday in the bi-district playoffs. Had they won, the Lady Panthers would have advanced to the area round, where they would meet the winner of Wichita Falls Rider-Justin Northwest.
Head coach Bri Barker-Groth characterized this team’s playoff chances:
Long playoff run: “If we consistently show up with our A-game and execute our plan. We will need our serve and pass game to be strong no matter who we come up against. We will need to establish our middles from the beginning.”
Short playoff run: “If we struggle in the serve and pass game or we start making a lot of errors.”
Carroll (39-6): The Lady Dragons earned the top seed in District 5-6A this past Friday when they beat Lewisville Hebron in four games. The two teams split the four 2016 meetings and never swept the other.
Carroll played McKinney Boyd in bi-district round Tuesday at Denton Braswell High School. Boyd eliminated Carroll in the regional quarterfinals in 2015. Had Carroll won, it would advance to the area round where it would meet the winner of Copperas Cove-DeSoto.
Head coach Ryan Mitchell characterized this team’s playoff chances:
Long playoff run: “If we continue to block at a high level and our serve receive allows our offense to get in system.”
Short playoff run: “If we allow our opponents to go on long scoring runs.”