While Lifegate secured the TCAL 2A state volleyball championship over the weekend, Navarro, Marion and Seguin are prepping for their respective bi-district playoff games at the beginning of next week.
The Lady Panthers beat an improved Cuero squad on Friday, winning in four sets, 25-20, 25-27, 25-13 and 25-15 in the final district game of the season.
The win put Navarro at 10-2 (33-8 overall) in District 30-4A, where they had already solidified their spot as the No. 2 seed for the playoffs.
“Cuero had been playing well lately so we knew it was going to be a fight,” head coach Nicole Blakeman said. “They worked hard to hit where our holes were but we were able to adjust and close those holes.
“We went to a 6-2, with six hitters and two setters, but the setters set from the back row, so you always have three hitters.”
Sara Benner, usually a setter for the squad, collected 15 kills on the night, while Kelly Helms led the team with 20 and Nelly Brumley added 13.
“We got a really good game from Sara, so that was exciting to see,” Blakeman said. “Nelly was hitting for just two games, so she did a really good job.”
Defensively, libero Carolyn Burch had an outstanding game with 40 digs, while Brumley contributed with 27 and Ashley Gosch got 26.
The Lady Panthers first round playoff game is set for next Monday night at Devine at 6:30, but Blakeman won’t know who they are playing out of District 29-4A probably until Friday night.
Carrizo Springs and Crystal City are tied in that district for second and third, and will probably be playing in a playoff on Friday for the playoff seeding.
The Panthers beat Crystal City in two sets at a tournament earlier this season.
“I feel pretty confident about that game, but you never can underestimate anybody,” Blakeman said. “It’s been a while since we’ve seen them. Carrizo Springs just beat the first place team in their district.”
The Bulldogs fell to Comfort on Friday in three sets, 18-25, 14-25 and 19-25, and are secured as the No. 4 seed out of District 26-3A, regardless of the outcome of last night’s game at SA Cole.
“We played a really good defensive game, but we couldn’t put a complete rally together,” head coach Taylor Creamer said of the loss. “Comfort is a very good team and makes adjustments very well. That’s the reason they are in the running for first place in the district.”
Comfort, Ingram and SA Randolph were in a three-way tie for first prior to last night’s games at 7-2. Marion was at 4-5 in district prior to last night’s game.
Madison Doss had seven aces, Kaylie Miller had four kills and Lizzie Abarameit, Hayley Mabee, Ingrid Nava and Molly Rooke had three kills each. Mabee and Abrameit had nine digs each, while Lily Bek had seven to lead the defensive effort.
“Lily played really well and Madison had a lot of really good aces,” Creamer said.
The Bulldogs will go up against Johnson City, the No. 1 seed out of District 25-3A, either Monday or Tuesday in bi-district at a site yet to be determined.
“We’ll have about a week to prepare for Johnson City,” Creamer said. “They’re the ones that knocked us out last year, so the girls are ready. Hopefully we can execute the game plan and move on to the next round.”
The Lady Mats handled SA Memorial on Friday to improve to 10-5 in District 26-5A (20-20 overall) heading into last night’s final district game with SA Kennedy. Seguin won in three sets 26-24, 25-18 and 25-8.
“We started out just going through the motions,” head coach Kristi Stanley said. “Finally by the third set we took care of business and played a lot more steady.
“We made a lot of errors in sets one and two that we didn’t make in set three.”
A balanced offensive attack saw Taylor Bode and Leslie Muenchow lead in kills with 14 each, while Julianna Harrington added 11. Defensively, libero Amasti Canales had 18 digs, with Beth Martinez getting 12 and Muenchow chipping in with 10.
Seguin was tied with McCollum at 10-5 after Friday’s contest, with both teams playing last night. McCollum took on SA Memorial for their final district game of the season. If the teams end up tied, the coaches have already discussed a potential playoff game for the higher seed going into the playoffs, Stanley said.
“We’ll most likely play that off,” she said. “I don’t think either one of us wants to leave that match up to chance. We’ll let the kids battle it out to find out where we are.”
The two teams split during the season, with Seguin winning in five sets the first time and McCollum winning in five last week.
“They played a great match defensively the last time we played them,” Stanley said. “We’re hoping to get a few more balls to drop and get the match to go our way.”
If the Cowgirls and Lady Mats do end up tied, hinging on the matches last night, the playoff would be on Friday at a site yet to be announced. Stanley said she would wait to see the results from last night’s action before releasing the information.
Seguin will make the playoffs as either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed, with the opponent coming out of District 25-5A. The bi-district match will be either Monday or Tuesday, depending on what team and seed they will be playing.
“We’re at a point in our season where every point, every set matters,” Stanley said. “We’re going to have to play with a sense of urgency and minimize our errors so that we can be successful.”
See the story on Seguin’s match with SA Kennedy in Thursday’s Seguin Gazette.
Kevin Duke is the sports editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at email@example.com .