They had to settle for a co-championship in District 3-6A, but is has nonetheless been a magical season for coach Natalie Gonzales and her Weatherford Lady Kangaroos.
The Lady Kangaroos (33-5) will enter their first playoff appearance since 2009 as the No. 2 seed from district. Keller captured the top spot by defeating Weatherford 25-11, 24-26, 25-19, 25-18 in a one-match playoff after the teams shared the league title, each with 10-2 records and having split their district matches.
Weatherford was playing Arlington Lamar in bi-district at press time. A win in that match would advance the Lady Kangaroos to the area round for the first time since 2001, which is also the only time they reached the regional quarterfinals (third round) in team history.
"I always knew this was going to be a good group of girls," Weatherford coach Natalie Gonzales said. "This is just the start. I want us to build on this championship every year. These kids are setting the standard for future kids to come.
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"Playoffs needs to an every year thing, and these girls are setting that example with their hard work and determination."
The Lady Roos have no seniors on their roster.
When Gonzales took over in 2013 the Lady Roos were at or near the bottom of their district standings. They have shown steady improvement in each of her four seasons, narrowly missing the playoffs last season.
"The success we have had this year means so much to us," junior outside hitter Gracie Dorris said. "All year we have played for each other and not just for ourselves, so we take every win and loss very seriously.
"We fought to get to the playoffs for each other, our coaches and our town."
During the regular season Weatherford also climbed into the Class 6A state rankings. They reached as high as No. 17 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association poll before a pair of late-season losses to Keller and Keller Central resulted in them dropping out of the top 25.
Two Lady Kangaroos have already decided where they are going to play in college. Juniors London Austin-Roark and Kaitlyn Rogers verbally committed to Texas A&M.
WEATHERFORD (34-4, 10-2 in District 3-6A)
Lost to Keller Central 22-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-15, 15-11
▪ Standouts: London Austin-Roark 17 kills; Gabby Huggins 11 kills, 7 digs; Londyn Gray 10 kills, 5 digs; Kaitlyn Rogers 46 assists, 13 digs; Reagan Hubbard 15 kills.
Lost to Keller in district seeding playoff 25-11, 24-26, 25-19, 25-18
▪ Standouts: Austin-Roark 12 kills; Rogers 28 assists, 10 digs; Hubbard 10 digs; Alyson Ross 7 digs; Huggins 6 kills; Francine Merchant 6 kills.
LADYCATS TOPS IN LEAGUE AGAIN
In Aledo, they celebrate district volleyball championships about as often as most folks celebrate birthdays. In fact, they happen about as frequent, with 19 championships or co-championships in 20 seasons under coach Kathy Goings.
Goings' team shared the District 6-5A title this season with Saginaw Boswell, each with a 13-1 league record and having split their matches - each winning on the other's court.
The Ladycats, however, are the district's top seed in the postseason following a mutual agreement by the coaches. They were playing Denison in bi-district at press time.
"We are playing good right now. This team really progressed through the last part of district," Goings said. "We made some changes and focused on some areas that we needed to get stronger in."
ALEDO (35-8, 13-1 in District 6-5A)
Defeated Saginaw 25-14, 25-11, 25-17
▪ Standouts: Madison goings 15 kills, 12 digs; Erin Weiss 41 assists, 14 digs; Emily Smith 11 kills; Brecken Rocquemore 10 kills; Sydney Casey 24 digs.
BROCK (19-18, 6-2 in District 7-3A)
Defeated Tolar 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21
▪ Standouts: Daelyn Sessum 12 kills, Parker King 8 kills, Gracie Cooper 21 digs.
▪ Bi-district: Versus Holiday at press time.
MILLSAP (22-11, 4-4 in District 7-3A)
Defeated Fort Worth Harmony 25-8, 25-6, 25-2
▪ Standouts: Brittany Schnabel 11 kills, 3 aces; Alerah Turpin 10 digs; Madison Johns 31 assists.
▪ Bi-district: Versus Bowie at press time.
PEASTER (37-7, 8-0 in District 7-3A)
Defeated Stephenville 25-15, 25-11, 25-19
Standouts not available.
▪ Bi-district: Versus Henrietta or Holiday at press time.
POOLVILLE (21-10, 12-2 in District 9-2A)
Defeated Perrin 25-16, 25-7, 25-7
▪ Standouts: Billie Roberts 10kills, Brenlee Jones 8 kills, Trinity Johnson serving, including 9 straight points served.
▪ Bi-district: Bye.