Central Texas Volleyball Playoff Preview

Central Texas Volleyball Playoff Preview

Girls Volleyball

Central Texas Volleyball Playoff Preview

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It is playoff time in Texas and with our USA Today High School Sports powered by KVUE preview you will be ready! We will also be keep you updated on the outcomes of all the area’s teams, so be on the lookout for those results during the week.

Note: Volleyball stats can be difficult to come by and are always changing. We did our best with the statistics and information we could gather. State rankings are as noted by the Texas Girls Coaches Assosciation.

 

District 14-6A

1. (#2) Westlake 39-4 (16-0)

Coach: Al Bennett

2014 Season: Lady Chaparrals have cruised through their regular season with a 29- record. Currently they are the #2 ranked team in the state in Class 6A. Look for more of the same from Westlake as they go through the playoffs. They are a complete team that looks to the Central Texas kills per set leader, Michelle Irvin. Her teammate in attack is Jesse Turner tied for tenth with 2.7 kills per set. Looking for Irvin will be the top rated setter, Madison Borowski averaging 10.1 assist per set. Clarie Hahn’s 5.1 digs per set keeps the ball alive for the Lady Chaps attack. Then again, the ball rarely gets passed the tandem of Taylor Flaherty and Kaitlee Haralson. Flaherty leads Central Texas in blocks  and Haralson is right behind her. This is the most complete starting six in the area and a state title looks plausible.

Playoff opponent: Rouse

 

2. Lake Travis 28-14 (13-3)

Coach: Lisa Kazmierski

Season: The Lady Cavaliers faltered a little at the start of their campaign. The young squad came together near the middle of the season and had a big win against state ranked Bowie. Since then the Lake Travis has been winners of 10-straight and hitting their stride at the best time. Leah Mulkey will be the key, she is the area’s number two ranked player in kills with a 3.8 per set average. Ally Posey has become more consistent on the attack and is tied for tenth in the area with 2.7 digs per set. Correy Cable and her 6.6 assist per set is good for the number eight spot in Central Texas. Libero, Lenah Ansari, has made a multitude of diving save this season and that is reflected in her 5.6 digs per set average, third best in the area. The pairing of Kayla Balenzentis and Mitchell Heirholzer lead the Lady Cavs block party. Both Balenzentis and Heirholzer rank in the top 10 in the area in blocks. Both Cable and Ansari are dangerous from the service line. The Lady Cavs look reclaim their status as one of the state’s best in the sport. A good run with a young squad could set the foundation for a nice run next year, but try telling this year’s squad to wait.

Opponent: Westwood

 

3. Bowie 33-13 (13-3)

Coach: Vickie Benson

Season: It has been a very emotional year for the Lady Dawgs right from the start. The untimely loss of Coach Jason Landers before the season shook the hearts of the entire Central Texas volleyball community. Coach Benson stepped in to guide an inexperienced team and had them playing inspired volleyball. They hit a road bump with the loss to Lake Travis in the middle of the season. They have bounced back since the defeat. They closed out the season winning six of eight. Sabrina Blanco sets the tempo with her 6.3 assist per set passing. The defensive paring of Alicia Morales and Kellen Dunn are ranked in the top ten in the area for digs per set. Bowie may be the most dangerous team from behind the service line. Sydney James and Kellen Dunn were number one and two in the area in total aces at one point in the season. In bottom half of the top 10, Neal and Morales were putting away the aces as well. If this team hits mid-season form again, they could make some noise.

Opponent: McNeil

 

4. Anderson 20-26 (9-7)

Coach: Shalanda Byers

2014 Season: It was a playoff race down to the wire. Anderson and Austin High were both in contention for the forth and final playoff spot on the last day of the season. Anderson took care of business against Akins, while Austin High dropped to Bowie which secured passage for Anderson. Now that they have reached the post-season they will need a full team effort to extend their playoff stay. There will be lots of heavy wishing, but the effort should be there.

Opponent: (#8) Hendrickson

 

District 13-6A

1. (#8) Hendrickson 32-7 (14-0)

Coach:Carrie Sulak

2014 Season: While Westlake is getting most of the attention in the Central Texas area, the Lady Hawks from up I-35 are talented squad in their own right. Like their 14-6A counterparts they ran the district table. The Lady Hawks end the year at #8 in the TGCA rankings. A ranking that high does not come without an abundance of talent. Kelsey Robinson is a pass master, with nearly has 10 assists per set. She will be looking for the scoring trio of Katelyn Lochner, Anna Lee Koester, and Amanda Lesikar to finish. Alyssa Carlin will keep the ball alive, she is good for about four digs per set. Also in defense, Koester  and Kylie Brumley will be called upon to protect the net. A match with Westlake to determine who is the best Central Texas team in Class 6A could be a reality.

 

2. McNeil 33-9 (11-3)

Coach: Kate Kennedy

2014 Season: With Hendrickson running away with the district title, second place was left wide open. The Mavericks filled the second spot with a good district season in their own right. McNeil will rely heavily Mallory Davidson. She is a dynamo for the Mavs, finishing the season in the top five in assists per set and is a threat from the serve. Rebecca Latham, Kelly McConnell will be looked upon to score points off the kill. Samir Frazier and Hannah Weaver will be trying to keep the ball from hitting the court. Depth could be a concern, but the starting lineup is solid. After finishing the season winning six out of their last eight, this team will have a pretty even match up against Bowie.

Opponent: Bowie

 

3. Westwood 29-16 (8-6)

Coach:

Players to Watch:Brook Imirie and Cara Dolbear Emily Greene Kills blocks, Angela Yu assists,

2014 Season: Westwood almost missed the big dance, but a five set thriller to end the season granted them playoff passage. The passing game is one of the lynchpins for the Warriors. Angela Yu is in the top 10 in assists per set in area, while Vanessa Robinson and Pat Etherington are just as servicable with their passing. They will be looking to target Emily Greene to score from those passes. Brook Imirte ranks in the top five for blocks in the area while her netmate, Cara Dolbear is in the top 20. Kim Sladek will be a threat from the service and the floor. While talented, they will need to play a complete game to advance.

Opponent: Lake Travis

 

4. Rouse 20-20 (8-6)

Coach: Jacob Thompson

Players to Watch:Emily Hanaway, Morgan Curie, Haley Hutchinson

2014 Season: Coach Jacob Thompson has done a wonderful job in guiding the Lady Raiders to the their first ever playoff appearance. They are led by their superstar, Emily Hanaway. She is one of the better all around players in Central Texas. She leads her team in kills and aces, second on the team in digs. Upfront Haley Hutchinson will be patrolling the net and supporting in the attack. Morgan Currie ranks in the top 10 in the area with her 6.8 digs per set average. While Averi Foster and Taylor Black are both capable distributors. Unfortunately, they go against a team that is favored to send them home early.

Opponent: (#2) Westlake

 

 

District 26-5A

1. (#7) Ann Richards 33-5 (18-0)

Coach: Maura Cosgrove

2014 Season: It has been a terrific season for the Stars of Ann Richards. They currently rank at #7 in the state according to the latest TGCA polls. They have cruised through the district play with a perfect 18-0 record. There is still one thing left for Ann Richards to accomplish, the program’s first playoff victory. Coach Cosgrove has a talented squad that is looking beyond a first round appearance. Sierra Melomo is the fifth ranked assist getter in the area with 7.5 per set average. She will be looking for Jada Washington and Sofia Hruby to finish as both players average about 2.6 kills per set. Eliza Martin will help take care of the floor on defense with her 3.3 digs per set, while Hruby and Alexy Garza will protect the net. Hruby is in the top 5 in the Central Texas area in blocks on the season, while Garza comes in at the top 10. If a point needs to be scored from the service line look for Ally Reznicek to make the crucial serve, she is second in the area on the season. If they stay composed and win their first game, there is no telling how far this team can go.

Opponent: Vista Ridge

 

2. (#24) Bastrop 21-10 (15-3)

Coach: Nicole Creek

2014 Season: Despite finishing second in the district, the Lady Bears have had an remarkable season. It is not every year that squad is state ranked, but they rose all the way to number #18 and still finished the season at #24. The only thing that cooled them down was a home loss to Ann Richards. A lot of credit could go to their point-woman Glorilisha Carter. She averaged a kill per set rate of 3.3 that ranked her sixth in the area.  While Carter takes care of the scoring, Jordan Crabb will keep opposition kill attempts away. The agile Crabb is second in the area with an amazing  6.2 per set. Her talents are not purely defensive, she deadly accurate from the service line as she led the area in total aces. With a possible return of points 9.5 per set off two players, the Lady Bears prove dangerous when their team is in sync. Still the Lady Bears have a very intriguing match up that might prove to be a close one.

Opponent: Vandegrift

 

3. McCallum 22-16 (13-5)

Coach: Amy Brodbeck

2014 Season: After winning a coin-flip McCallum claims sole possession of the third place in the district. The Knights are a unit that relies on good positioning and floor defense to keep the ball alive. In the air Eboni Clayton-Mitchell and her 2.8 kill per set (10th in the area) will have a chance to do some damage. After a loss to Bastrop, McCallum finished the regular season on a four game winning streak. They will need to be on their best game if they are to extender their playoff stay.

Opponent: (#22) Cedar Park

 

4. Cedar Creek 22-19 (13-5)

Coach: Jayson Langman

2014 Season: Last year, a young squad played hard but missed the postseason. This year the core of that squad returned and got over the regular season hump. They did so with solid defense. Lexi Barnnet is the best floor defender in Central Texas, averaging nearly seven digs per set. With her keeping the opposition at bay, it allows area top 10 setter, Shannon Klaus, to dish out the assists. Emily Riefel is the marksman from the service line, and Avery Tuggle is one of their better all around players. They are good team and battle hard, but even they know to get out of the first round it will take something extraordinary special.

Opponent: (#3) Dripping Springs

 

District 25-4A

1. (#2) Dripping Springs 36-5  (14-0)

Coach: Michael Kane

2014 Season: If there is a favorite to bring a state title to Central Texas in4A, it would have to be Dripping Springs. To go along with its TGCA #2 ranking, Max Preps has the Lady Tigers as their #32 team… in the entire nation.  Coach Michael Kane has developed a machine that is firing on all cylinders. Look for Morgyn Greer and Ashley Waggle to score the majority of the points. They will average about 7.5 kills per set between the two. Madison Green will be the distributor as she averages 7.5 assist per set. Claire Gravell is also quite the passer as she ranks in the area’s top 10 in assists per set average. Autumn Rounsaville will clean up the floor with her digging defense, while Alissa Johnson is the team’s leading ace getter. The reserves are nearly just as capable as their starting counterparts. State championships are team efforts, and Dripping Springs has a really great team. State championship hopes are high, anything less would be considered a let down.

Opponent: Cedar Creek

 

2. (#22) Cedar Park 28-12 (11-3)

Coach: Chad Jones

2014 Season: Almost everything went as planned at Cedar Park this season. The only thing that did not go right were the two meetings with Dripping Springs. However, those battles with the Lady Tigers should provide the building blocks for a long playoff run for the Timberwolves. Cedar Park is a younger squad, but they already play like seasoned veterans. It starts with the pass, and no one is better in Central Texas than Lindsey Ledyard. She averages near an amazing 10 assists per set. Think about it… 10 of her sets will result in points, efficiently scary. Ledyard gets some help with about four of those assist going to Courtnee Curl, who is in the top five in area when it comes to kills per set. The defense is just as efficient as the offense. Dana Teets is the team’s leader in digs per set and on the serve. Alana Geymer is  a formidable one upfront or on the backline. Luci Alberston throws block parties, just because she can. She is the area’s top blocker that is headed to the playoffs. Their opponents will have to play well on both sides of the ball to have a chance. There is a possible rematch against Dripping Springs waiting in the wings. That contest would make very compelling viewing.

Opponent: McCallum

 

3. Vandegrift -27-17 (9-5)

Coach: Kelly McCarter

2014 Season: The future is looking promising at Vandy. Two 2014 National Silver Junior Medalist are on the varsity and the ones on JV should get a call up for the playoffs. Considering the abundance of talent in the district, a third place finish is not the true representation of this squad. The point-woman is Bryn Recker, she is one the most dangerous scorers in the area. Most of her points come by way of the excellent passer Lexi Lopez. Lopez is averaging a little over nine assist per set, good for third in the area. The two form just a formidable combination in within their district, however they would be nearly tops in many other districts around the state. Morgan Waggoner will protect the backline, while Bella Benoit will protect upfront. Battles with the Dripping Springs and Cedar Park should prove valuable as the Vipers are consider the underdog in the first round.

Opponent: (#24) Bastrop

 

4.  Vista Ridge 27-17 (9-5)

Coach: Holly Lamb

2014 Season: Vista Ridge just qualifying for the playoffs is a testament to how good this district is. This senior laden squad will be looking to try to advance and it will start with the talented Wacker sisters. Jaslyn and Jaryn will be a terror at the net, and teams will be fortunate to score kills against these two. Blair Nevit and Kylie Nothnagel will look to finish for points off the kill. At the center of this team will be the duo hub of Lauren Pick and Alyssa Cecil. Cecil will keep the floor clean as she averages nearly five digs per set. Pick is one of the best setters in the area, recognized by her nearly 10 assist per set average. They will be facing a really good team in the first round. However, given the strength of their district, there is a possibility to pull the upset.

Opponent: (#7) Ann Richards

 

District 17-5A

Winner of the district was Waco University.

2. Connally 15-25 (10-3)

Coach: Meghan Nichols

2014 Season: The Cougars had a fantastic run winning seven out their last eight, along with avenging a loss to Hutto, to end the season. The only loss in that run was to eventual district champs Waco University. Seeing how both teams swept each other during the season, it could of just been a bad night for Connally. Despite second place, the Cougars look poised to make some noise in the playoffs. Marissa Padron is what makes this team tick. Her passing ability will be essential to Connally’s offensive attack. Defensively, the ground is covered with Zhartaezia Bradley and her 3.8 digs per set. While getting out of the first round is doable, there is concern with their 2-7 neutral site record as this game is being played in Rockdale.

Opponent: A&M Consolidated

3. Hutto 19-26 (10-3)

Coach: Tanessa Sawyer

2014 Season: Hutto came up came one game short of Connally for the second spot in the tightly contested district. Still, this is a squad that showed some flashes of consistent play during the season. Look for the seniors to lead the way in this playoff push. Alyssa Beasley will be looked upon to score and defend for the Hippos.  Kayla Durr will the one dishing out the assists. Hutto holds a big advantage in not having to travel as far as their opponent for their neutral site playoff game.

Opponent: College Station

4. Elgin (6-7) 11-31

Coach: Russell Larson

2014 Season: Elgin was caught in a weird place, significantly better than the bottom half of the district, not quite good enough to beat the top of the table. However, they have a really good excuse, this team is very young. It starts with the freshman setter Makenna Schultz. She already has a good read of the game as signified by her 6.6 assists per set, good enough to be placed in the area’s top 10. The duo of Selena Wright and Whitney Walker will be formidable opposition at the net. The lone senior, Jennifer Mikeska will be looked upon for not only her leadership, but her timely digs and ace serving ability. If they can put it all together a close first round will be possible.

Opponent: (#18) Huntsville

 

Class 4A

(#4) Wimberley

Coach: Thomas Kane 33-8 (11-0)

2014 Season: The Texans won five state titles between the years 1999-2007. That is impressive dominance, but they are still looking for their first state championship in this decade. This squad could net them the desired result. Wimberley will be led by their superstar Jacey Smith. She is tops in Central Texas 4A in kills per set and blocks, along with being one of the better servers in the area. Emily Ferguson will be along side Smith upfront looking to score points, Maggie Linkler will be there to help maintain the front defense. Smith’s kills will come by way of Marissa Gage’s passing. Gage leads her team in assists per set, but its her ability to score points behind the service line that is the real asset. Meagan Romano is not that far off from her teammate Gage, when it comes to her ability to assist and serve.  On a team already loaded with an abundance of ability, Mattie Adams will patrol the floor. It is very complete starting unit. If this team plays to their potential throughout the playoffs, there is no reason why they cannot be celebrating a state title at the end of the tournament.

Opponent: Salado

 

(#5) Fredericksburg 36-10 (10-0)

Coach: Jason Roemer

2014 Season: The Texas Hill Country produces some really talented squads, and Fredericksburg is among one of them. Kendyl Stevens is one of the best setters in the area. She averages nearly 10 assists per set, and is formidable from the serve. Payton Robertson is the leading dig getter and top service ace. The tandem of Adrianna Hatmann and freshman Aubrey Sultemeier will be looked up to score points and block. Between the two they average nearly seven kills per set, and lead the team in total blocks. Another well rounded team, with the right mix of seniors and underclassman, if they play to their best, a chance at the title is not of the out question.

Opponent: Crystal City

 

(#13) Liberty Hill (9-0)

Coach: Gretchen Peterson

2014 Season: Another fantastic squad coming out of the Central Texas region. The Lady Panthers claimed their third straight district title, and now look towards the coveted state championship. Seniors, Jill Green and Peyton Redman, will pace the attack. They are hoping to have Allee Nix back to help with protecting the net. Kelly McKinzey is another of those of those good Central Texas setters. She reads the game, and has an abundance of talent to feed the ball. The first rounds should be a stroll, but the later rounds will test the complete make up of this team.

Opponent: Cuero

 

Burnet 14-13 (5-2)*not complete

Coach: Brent Kelley

2014 Season: Finishing behind the Liberty Hill for the district crown was Burnet. Their only two district losses that we know of came to the Lady Panthers. Their games against one of the best teams in the state should have the Bulldogs ready for the playoffs.

Opponent:

 

Taylor 21-19 (6-5)*not complete

Coach: Eric Soto

2014 Season: The Ducks had a pretty good ending to their season. They won six our of their last eight, and finished on a three-game winning streak. Their duo of Katelyn Roznovak and Bailey Talley will lead the the way for this squad. They are the team’s best two attackers and servers. While they take care of the points, leading blockers Virgina Kerley and Chasity Hatch will take care of the net. Savannah Kaspar will keep the ball alive with her seven digs per set. Breanna Clifton is the leading assist maker with 719 assist on the season. They played in a tough district, their first round opponent should not overlook them.

Opponent: Canyon Lake

 

La Grange (7-3)

Coach: Ann Rigden

2014 Season: The Leopards finished just outside the top spot. While volleyball is a team game, Riley Fisbeck is the playmaker. She is the leader in kills, is second in blocks and aces. Kelsey Parchman will team up with her to score and protect at the net. Hannah Gerecke and Destiny Psencik will patrol the floor. Another solid team that hopes to go far this year.

Opponent: Scarborough

 

Cadwell (7-3)

Coach: Janeann Giese

2014 Season: It is has been a nice season by all accounts for the Hornets. Things get started from the pass, and Haylie Ewald is averaging nearly 11 assist per set! The attacking duo of Hannah McManus and Abby Royall will average nearly nine kills per set between them. McManus is also the leading blocker on this squad, having twice as many blocks as the next closes player. Royall leads the team in digs, with Gaby Martinez just as comparable in the defense.

Opponent: Furr

 

Giddings 17-17- (1-6)*not complete

Coach: Shay Douglas

2014 Season: Thing went just well enough to get into the playoffs. However, given the strength their district they could be much better than advertised.

 

We will be keep you updated with the area’s smaller schools as they traverse the playoffs.

Class 3A

(#6) Blanco

Coach: Amy Hackebeil

Lago Vista

Coach: Debbie Hansen

 

Lexington

 

Class 2A

(#2) Schulenburg

(#3) Thrall

Thorndale

Shiner

 

 

 

 

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