Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Frisco Centennial hopes to continue playoff run in volleyball Region II-4A semifinals
Frisco Centennial volleyball coach Kari Bensend was nervous about playing Frisco Heritage for a fourth time Tuesday.
Those fears were put to rest after Centennial breezed to a 3-0 sweep, its third sweep of Heritage this season.
The win set up an even more daunting task for Centennial, which must face top-ranked Lovejoy in a Region II-4A semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Richardson Berkner.
“This will be the toughest match we play,” Bensend said. “They’ve got a very seasoned team that can put the ball away, and their setters are strong. We’ll have to play a really good match, but I think they’ll have to, too.”
Lovejoy has been the No. 1 team in the Class 4A state and area rankings since the preseason. It dispatched Red Oak, ranked No. 2 in SportsDay’s final area rankings, 25-16, 25-13, 25-21, on Tuesday.
Centennial (37-9) has dropped one set through three playoff matches after taking the top seed in District 9-4A.
Micaya White leads the team with 595 kills and 107 blocks. The 6-foot sophomore has already orally committed to Texas.
“She’s been a force for us,” Bensend said.
Senior Kalyn Paris has 311 kills, 386 digs and 34 aces. Sophomore Lexi MacLean has 292 kills, 165 digs and 61 aces, and sophomore setter Riley MacDonald has 1,103 assists.
Hockaday hockey is back: Two years ago, Hockaday didn’t give up a goal in three tournament games as it won the SPC field hockey state title. Last year, it failed to make the Division I playoffs.
Senior Ramie Payne and juniors Evie Peña, Meredith Mihalopoulos and goalkeeper Emily Wechsler were on both teams. This year, they lead a group of 15 returning players as Hockaday makes its return to the Division I playoffs as the North Zone No. 1 seed.
Hockaday coach Jennifer Johnson said the team was more dedicated during the off-season and learned from its struggles last year.
“They came in in shape and so we’ve been able to maintain that versus having to build it,” Johnson said. “Being on the other side of it last year and letting our fate being guided by the other team wasn’t a good feeling. A lot of them knew that feeling.”
Hockaday will play Bellaire Episcopal on Friday. Should it win, it’ll play the winner of Houston Kinkaid and Greenhill later that day for the right to go to the SPC state championship game.
On the other side of the bracket, Fort Worth All Saints opens the tournament against the South Zone No. 1 seed, Houston St. John’s.
Greenhill volleyball earns top seed: After going unbeaten in the SPC North, Greenhill will face Houston St. John’s in the first round of the Division I playoffs at 9 a.m. Friday at Fort Worth All Saints.
Greenhill took fourth place in 2010 after a loss to St. John’s, then took third place last season with a win against St. John’s.
“We’re familiar with them,” Greenhill coach Tatiane Deibert said. “We expect a tough St. John’s team, for sure.”
The winner will face Tulsa Holland Hall or Houston Christian in the SPC semifinals.
Staff writer Michael Florek contributed to this report.