With the rise of athletics in Fort Worth ISD, the volleyball team at Arlington Heights joins that group with its first bi-district championship since 2007.
The Yellowjackets (18-4) beat Mansfield Timberview 25-19, 25-21, 14-25, 25-23. Now they get Grapevine (32-10) in the 5A Region I area round, 7 p.m. Friday at Fossil Ridge High School.
“We came together and did what we sought out to do all season and it was a huge relief to finally reach that goal,” junior middle blocker Jalee McDonald said. “Coach Shannon Lisenbe believed in us the whole ride and has never let us settle for anything less than greatness.”
Heights had lost its four games by August. Then it reeled off a 14-0 record to win the District 6-5A title.
“We knew we had to pick each other up and just work one point at a time. We worked hard to get to where we are and be able to make history while doing it is a huge motivator,” said McDonald, who’s committed to play softball at North Texas. “Lisenbe came into the program this year and wanted change. We have worked hard every day, every practice and every game to get to this point.”
Heights has six seniors on its roster: Johnna McClendon, Brianna Renteria, Chy’na Davis, Dayanara Morales, Alanis Justice and Diana Hernandez.
“We love our seniors and for us underclassmen to be able to help them play one more game and have more memories feels great,” McDonald said. “We needed them to shine and they did. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
JOSHUA 3, FORNEY 1
The Owls won their last regular season game to clinch the No. 3 seed from 14-5A and then started the playoffs with a 25-17, 25-23, 17-25, 25-20 victory over the Jackrabbits.
Joshua (23-16) wins its first playoff game since 2012. The Owls head to the 5A Region II area round to play Hallsville (32-6), 6:30 p.m. Friday at Eustace High School.
“This was the biggest game of the season and we were excited about it from the second we left the school to the moment we scored the final point,” senior Anne-Elise Gest said. “The team’s energy was incredible the entire time and I couldn’t ask for better teammates to play with.”
TOP AREA ROUND GAMES
Boswell (23-20) vs. Granbury (28-18), 6 p.m. Thursday, Aledo HS
Highland Park (30-15) vs. Frisco Wakeland (34-5), 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Berkner HS
Flower Mound (37-7) vs. Mansfield (35-13), 7 p.m. Thursday, Colleyville Heritage HS
Burleson (31-9) vs. Birdville (38-7), 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Brewer HS
El Paso Chapin (30-5) vs. Aledo (27-16), 6 p.m. Friday, Odessa HS
Waxahachie (43-4) vs. Coppell (38-10), 6:30 p.m. Friday, Mansfield Legacy HS
Byron Nelson (41-1) vs. Lake Ridge (36-9), 6:30 p.m. Friday, Richland HS
Plano (22-9) vs. Rockwall (24-14), 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dallas Lake Highlands HS