Volleyball completes undefeated district play, prepares for playoffs

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Volleyball completes undefeated district play, prepares for playoffs

Senior Shanel Bramschreiber sets the ball to her teammate.

Senior Shanel Bramschreiber sets the ball to her teammate.

Kelsey Carroll

Senior Shanel Bramschreiber sets the ball to her teammate.

Kelsey Carroll

Kelsey Carroll

Senior Shanel Bramschreiber sets the ball to her teammate.

Alexis Russell, Staff Writer

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After an undefeated district season, the volleyball team (36-9, 14-0 in district) will participate in a practice match versus 6A team Coppell (35-3,12-0) tonight at home at 5:30 p.m.  before their first round of the playoffs versus Longview Pine Tree (22-15, 7-5) in Minneola, Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Head coach Jason Nicholson said the team has gained some valuable experience and did a good of adjusting in high-pressure situations, a skill that will be crucial for the team to achieve their goal of making it to the state tournament.

“We had to make some adjustments, the kids got some different opportunities, and we had multiple lineups that we have been able to use [in district],” Nicholson said. “We gave some kids some repetition and some experience in those high-pressure situations. So going down the stretch, we got some kids that have been thrown out there a little bit and know what to do.”

Despite some notable injuries throughout the preseason and first round of district, including a key piece of the defense, senior middle blocker Allie Moger, the girls were able to adjust and stay undefeated in district play.

“In the very beginning, it was pretty rough,” Moger said. “We were like a roller coaster, up and down all the time. Near the very end we clicked in our game vs. Forney. We kind of got our groove back and have played good ever since then.”

In the team’s scheduled practice match tonight versus Coppell, Nicholson said that facing an elite 6A team will to help prepare the girls to face a higher level of competition in the playoffs.

“This match is an opportunity to play one of the best 6A teams in the area and get challenged,” Nicholson said. “They got a great team, and it could go either way. We played them our second match of the year. We went to five, it was a 15-13 fifth set type of match.”

Looking ahead to the first match versus Pine Tree, the same team the Leopards played in the first round last year, Nicholson said team’s goal is to come out energized and ready to go to avenge their loss in the state tournament last year.

“They got some athletes. They challenged us early last year until we kind of got ourselves going,” Nicholson said.  “Anytime you travel a distance like that it’s a little scary to figure out how energized you’re going to jump off a bus when you drive that long. Hopefully, we’re ready to go. I think the girls’ mindsets seem right, I think tomorrow will get us geared up and ready for Monday.”

Pine Tree is ranked fourth in District 16, but senior Lexie Parks said the girls know they cannot judge a team by the standings.

“We can’t underestimate them just because of their record is not as good as ours,” Parks said. “We have to go out playing our hardest and destroy them.”

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