Written by SportsDayDFW.com
UIL volleyball regionals bring some of Texas' best talent with Carroll, Lovejoy, Hebron, Centennial all in tournaments
Class 5A Region I
The favorite: Top-ranked Southlake Carroll (46-1) hasn’t lost since falling to The Woodlands in the Pearland Tournament championship on Aug. 17.
Players to watch: Colleyville Heritage middle blocker Anna Walsh and outside hitter Maddie Jones combined for 40 kills in a five-set victory against two-time defending state champion Coppell in the regional quarterfinals.
The dark horse: Arlington Martin has not defeated an area-ranked opponent this season but will have to in order to advance. Its semifinal opponent is No. 2 Colleyville Heritage, and it would face either No. 1 Southlake Carroll or No. 5 Hebron in the final.
Past champions: The Region I tournament includes two past state champions in Arlington Martin (1996, 2005) and Hebron (2004, 2010). Hebron was eliminated by eventual champion Coppell the past two seasons.
Class 5A Region II
The favorite: The Woodlands (41-0) are the only team to beat area No. 1 Southlake Carroll. The Woodlands hasn’t lost a set since Sept. 17 against A&M Consolidated.
Player to watch: Allen middle blocker Camryn Freiberg has a team-high 517 kills. She had 20 kills in Allen’s regional quarterfinal against McKinney and racked up 18 in the area round against Rowlett.
The power of District 10-5A: Two 10-5A teams — Plano and Allen — reached the regional tournament. If both win their semifinal matches, it would create an intriguing district reunion. Plano and Allen split two regular-season matches.
Star-studded: Round Rock features three seniors who are committed to playing volleyball at the next level: Stephanie Aiple (Texas A&M), Maggie DiPronio (Oral Roberts) and Madison King (Central Oklahoma).
Class 4A Region II
The favorite: No team has better playoff credentials than Lovejoy (36-9), the five-time defending state champions. Lovejoy hasn’t lost a set in a regional tournament since its championship streak began in 2008.
Player to watch: Frisco Centennial junior Micaya White, a front-runner for area player of the year, has 681 kills and 105 blocks. She committed to Texas last year.
Peaking at the right time: Waxahachie hasn’t lost a set in more than a month. Waxahachie is one of two 4A teams to defeat Lovejoy this season.
Familiar foes: Prosper has faced every team at the regional tournament. It lost to Waxahachie and Lovejoy at the Northwest ISD Classic and defeated Frisco Centennial in the first of two District 9-4A meetings.
More teams, players to watch
Brock: The team to beat at the 2A Region II tournament lost only four seniors from last year’s state championship squad.
Celina: The area’s lone 3A representative faces a tough Region II field. All four teams are ranked in the state top 10, including No. 2 Longview Spring Hill, No. 3 Decatur and No. 8 North Lamar. Celina is No. 10.
Mary Kate Clark, Waxahachie: The senior setter has 628 assists and 223 digs for the 15-4A champions. Clark signed with UT-Pan American on Wednesday.
Kylie Long, Plano: The senior outside hitter and Wake Forest signee has racked up 539 kills, 61 aces and 341 digs.
Cat McCoy, Southlake Carroll: The Texas-signed libero had 456 digs during the regular season.
Banner Rodgers, Hebron: The senior libero had 26 digs in Hebron’s sweep of Flower Mound in the Region I quarterfinals. She signed with Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday.