9-1 Leopard volleyball takes on Wylie East


Mandy Halbert

Junior Callie Holden hits the ball in a match against Wylie East on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Kevin Davis, Sports Editor

Down the backstretch of district play, the McKinney Lions took the court in the Leopards’ home gym on Tuesday for the second of two match-ups. Previously, the Leopards beat the Lions in a thriller that went to five sets. This time around, the result was quite the opposite.

“McKinney was a totally different team,” head volleyball coach Jason Nicholson said. “They came in the second time around obviously expecting a battle.”

The Leopards handled the Lions in just three sets (25-13, 25-19, 25-7).

“They didn’t quite have all the pieces working Tuesday night,” Nicholson said. “I don’t know if they had some injuries or were a little fatigued or what was going on. We played fairly well and them not playing well helped us kind of get some confidence and get rolling.”

Opposed to the first time around, the energy level of the Leopards was on a different level when they played McKinney last Tuesday.

“Against McKinney the second time, our team had a tremendous difference in our energy level, which kinda caused us to play very clean and as a team,” senior Avery Arellano said. “Also, our initial plan to beat McKinney was to shut them down from the get go, which I believe we did.”

On Friday the Leopards face the Wylie East Raiders in Wylie at 5:30 p.m. Sitting with a 5-5 district record and fourth in district 10-5A, the Leopards look to handle a tenacious team in Wylie East.

“They are a scrappy little team, a good match for us,” Nicholson said. “We’re trying to figure some new pieces out.”

Although the central focus is on their task at hand on Friday, the Leopards are using their matchup against the Raiders as an opportunity to polish the adjustments that have been made for the potential district-deciding match against Prosper on Oct. 23.

“We made some adjustments since when we played Prosper the first time with some personnel changes,” Nicholson said. “It should be a match for us to still kind of work on getting out the kinks as far as those changes go.”

Unbeaten so far in district play, the Prosper Eagles come to play the Leopards next Friday. Depending on the outcome of the remaining games, the season could end with a tie at the top of district. If the teams tie for the second straight year, another “district championship” game would be played to determine who gets the top seed in the playoffs.

“Obviously our goal is, if we beat them, we are co-champions just like last year,” Nicholson said. “We went home and home with them last year. We beat them here, they beat us there. Then we just have to figure out where we fit as far is seeding goes for the playoffs.”