Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Colleyville Heritage volleyball aims to live up to its lofty state rankings
Colleyville Heritage has yet to drop a set through six District 6-5A volleyball matches, and there is no reason to think that trend will stop.
The Lady Panthers trounced Irving, 25-8, 25-10, 25-8, on Tuesday to improve to 31-3 overall and 6-0 in district.
Heritage has zipped its way up the state rankings. The Lady Panthers are No. 3 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association poll after opening the season unranked. They are ranked No. 2 in the state by LoneStarVolleyball.com.
But coach Jamie deTurck said she doesn’t care what the rankings say.
“If that gives them confidence, sure we can use it as motivation,” deTurck said. “But then I expect them to play like the No. 2 team in the state. I turn it around on them that way, and they respond.”
Heritage will host Euless Trinity at 6:30 p.m. Friday to complete the first leg of its double round-robin schedule.
The Lady Panthers, who won district last year without any seniors, have gotten solid performances from setters Brooke Hollingsworth and Alex Janak, each of whom averages more than seven assists per game.
Outside hitter Kimmy Gardiner, a Mississippi State pledge, averages 4.7 kills, and Sarita Mikals, a Houston pledge, averages 4.3.
Heritage has two more college-bound seniors in Arkansas Tech recruit Morgan Hatwig and UT-Dallas recruit Holyn Handley.
The team’s three losses have come against San Antonio Reagan, Southlake Carroll and Bishop Lynch — ranked first, fourth and 13th, respectively, in the state by LoneStarVolleyball.
Heritage won’t have to deal with Bishop Lynch again, but it could run into Carroll and Reagan with a deep playoff run.
“I had expectations for us to be this good,” deTurck said. “If we weren’t this good, I’d have been pretty upset.”
Ryan freshman runs through challenges: Nick Barrera has only peripheral vision and cannot see directly in front of him.
The disability hasn’t prevented the Denton Ryan freshman from pursuing an athletic career, though, and he joined the cross country team this fall.
He navigates through dark morning workouts by following his teammates and bought a weighted jacket to run in just for the sake of getting better.
“People that can see, I just try to pass them,” Barrera said. “It feels good, and it makes me want to do it more.”
Staff writer Michael Florek contributed to this report.