Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Volleyball playoff roundup: Plano, Plano West sweep opponents in Bi-district round, advance to Area
Plano and Plano West had to re-adjust to life in the state volleyball playoffs and, after a few jitters, both advanced in three sets in a Class 5A Bi-district doubleheader at Lake Highlands on Tuesday.
Plano defeated Richardson, 25-16, 25-6, 25-16. West beat Lake Highlands, 25-13, 25-13, 25-18.
“We had to settle in,” Plano West coach Brittany Bridge said. “I felt we blocked like we hadn’t done. It was good to see. That’s something we’ve been working on a lot in practice, and it showed.”
West (25-18) last reached the state playoffs in 2010 and lost to top-ranked Southlake Carroll in the first round. After a season in highly competitive District 10-5A, West emerged stronger for the playoffs even after it had to meet Plano in an extra match last week to determine playoff seeding.
West used excellent serving and digging by senior TCU signee Shane Peters, whose serve often kept Lake Highlands reeling. Freshmen Ania Mlynarczyk and Briana Tulley also picked up multiple points along with seniors Chanelle Cadot and Brianne O’Halloran.
Senior setter Brooke Coleman (signed with Ohio) set up a heavy dose of kills by a deep front line of juniors Kelly Bennett and Morgan MacGilvary and college-bound seniors Abigail Curry (North Carolina) and Katie Stebbins (Colgate.)
Lake Highlands (17-24) has been in the playoffs 11 of the last 12 years and staged a late challenge with a 15-15 score late in the third set. But Lake Highlands wasn’t able to keep the momentum.
In the first match, Plano (30-11) controlled all three sets against Richardson (17-15.) A strong senior nucleus got Plano back into the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Seniors Lauren Stahlman and Audrey Landry were again defensive stalwarts with digs and assists. Kylie Long has blossomed as a 6-1 hitter through the season. Junior Natalie Fazio served well against Richardson with help from a strong front of seniors Alicia Hinojos, Madison Morrell, Ally Birkett and Samantha Seal.
“Really all of them are playing their best,” Coach Teri Minnis said. “They’ve all picked it up. Once we got rid of a few jitters that we were in the playoffs and what that feels like, they played well.”
Southlake Carroll breezes in opener against North Crowley
By David Just, Staff Writer
ARLINGTON — Southlake Carroll broke a school record Tuesday with its 45th win of the season, sweeping North Crowley in a bi-district playoff at Arlington Lamar.
Carroll dominated from the start, winning 25-11, 25-10, 25-6.
Taylor Gruenewald had nine kills in the victory, and Maddie McCollough contributed 15 assists. Cat McCoy led the team in digs with 14.
Carroll (45-3) will face Amarillo Tascosa in the area round.
Colleyville Heritage d. Flower Mound Marcus 3-0: Sarita Mikels had 13 kills and 18 digs to lead Colleyville Heritage to a sweep of Flower Mound Marcus, 25-19, 25-15, 25-23.
Kimmy Gardiner added 11 kills, and Brooke Hollingsworth dished out 25 assists. Maddie Jones had 18 digs.
Heritage (39-4), the third-ranked team in the state, advances to face the winner between Mansfield and Waco Midway in the area round.
Flower Mound d. Hurst L.D. Bell 3-0: Senior outside hitter Jordan Anderson had 15 kills, 11 digs and an ace to power Flower Mound past Hurst L.D. Bell, 25-10, 25-15, 25-16.
Briana Allmon added 11 kills, four digs and four blocks for Flower Mound. Amberli Cluff chipped in six kills and four blocks.
Flower Mound (32-8) will face Copperas Cove in the area round.
Richardson Pearce d. Allen 3-1: Brianne Burkert had 16 kills, and Taylor Edwards chipped in 23 digs for Richardson Pearce in a four-set victory against Allen, 25-17, 25-19, 19-25, 25-15.
Shelby Starks added 10 kills for Pearce, and Grey Escude had four blocks.
Pearce (32-14) will face familiar foe Rockwall in the area round. Pearce beat Rockwall in two previous meetings this season.
McKinney Boyd d. Skyline 3-0: Megan Mollett led McKinney Boyd with seven kills and three aces in a 25-10, 25-8, 25-13 victory against Skyline.
Krista Bukovec added six kills and three aces, and Kelly Koop had six kills and three aces. Kaley Seaber led the team in digs with 14. Boyd (33-7) will face Garland Naaman Forest in the area round.
Highland Park d. Frisco Liberty 3-0: Maya Lloyd had 15 kills and four aces to lead Highland Park to a sweep of Frisco Liberty, 25-17, 25-22, 25-17.
Highland Park libero Grace Carter added 20 digs, and setter Lena Pierce had 36 assists.
Highland Park will face Seagoville in the area round.
Arlington d. Richland 3-1: Kaitlyn Granger racked up 16 kills, 10 digs and two aces to pace Arlington past Richland, 25-11, 20-25, 25-16, 25-19.
Jaqueline Vernoe contributed nine kills, 41/2 blocks and an ace for Arlington, and Albany Dawson had five kills and two blocks.
Arlington (35-12) will face San Angelo Central in the area round.
Hebron d. Euless Trinity 3-1: Hebron earned a 25-13, 25-14, 22-25, 25-17 bi-district victory against Euless Trinity at Carrollton Ranchview. Hebron (25-14) advances to face Cedar Hill in the area round.