Lady Panthers take aim at district title in final week

The advantage to having a very talented team is that it can still find a way to win when it doesn’t play well.

Look no further than Colleyville Heritage’s Oct. 14 match at Coppell. The Lady Panthers had 12 errant serves, passed a 1.9 rate – an acceptable figure is 2.3 and above – and still won the match in four games. All four games were tight. Colleyville Heritage emerged victorious.

Of course, it helps when there is a really special trio in senior outside hitter Anna Walsh, junior outside hitter Maddie Jones and senior setter Alex Janak. Still, there is something to be said when a team performs in any circumstance.

“We had to rally in all four games, and Coppell played great defense,” coach Jamie Siegel said. “While there was some frustration, the thing I could take from it, they gave everything they had. If they hadn’t, then I would be more frustrated.”

Colleyville Heritage (30-9, 10-0 District 7-6A) had a chance to wrap up the outright district championship by beating Siegel’s high school alma mater, Euless Trinity, on Tuesday and then defeating Carroll on Friday. Both matches are at home.

But it’s a business as usual approach. Emphasizing Carroll won’t start until the Trinity match has concluded.

“We can’t look ahead, but that’s just the way we’ve doing things all year,” Siegel said. “The girls are very resilient. When we get through one match, we move on to the next match. We’ve been repping that way. We just keep playing. That’s all we do.”

An open week

Once the Carroll match has finished Friday, Colleyville Heritage’s regular season is over. With a seven-team district in 7-6A, the Lady Panthers drew the final bye. That means they won’t play on the final date of the regular season, next Tuesday.

If Colleyville Heritage were to win the outright district championship, it could play a warmup match against anybody else who would be in the same position. And that match could take place at any time during the week.

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Of course, should there be a tie for the district championship with Carroll, then that’s another matter. Siegel wouldn’t comment on her plans either way.

“There are some possibilities,” she said. “We’re just going to get a feel for what the girls would want to do. But the most important thing is staying focused and playing at a high level as we get closer to the playoffs. After this week, we’ll look at our options.”

Grapevine update

The Lady Mustangs (27-13, 9-0 District 6-5A) are on the verge of claiming the outright district championship.

A win over Lake Dallas on Tuesday would give Grapevine a share of the district title but the top seed, because it would have swept both meetings with the Lady Falcons. Lake Dallas trailed by one game in the district standings but lost to Grapevine in the first meeting.

But that’s not coach Kori Cooper’s concern. Her major concern is getting this team to peak at the right time. They were swept at Decatur in a non-district match last Friday.

“We didn’t pass very well and weren’t efficient,” Cooper said. “We still have a lot of work to do and we need our core players to help us.”

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