No. 21 Lady Dawgs get volleyball playoffs started against District 7-6A’s Cedar Hill
By TJ MAXWELL
The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs will get their 2017 playoffs underway with a matchup against the Cedar Hill Lady Longhorns at 6:30 p.m. tonight at West High School in West.
The Lady Longhorns come into the playoffs with a 22-10 overall record and 11-4 district record. They finished tied with Desoto at 11-4 but lost a playoff for the third spot and go in the playoffs as the fourth seed from District 7-6A.
“They play a lot like those teams in Killeen so everything we do here is just to get us ready for the playoffs because every single team you meet in the playoffs is different,” said Copperas Cove head volleyball coach Cari Lowery. “Texas is a big ol’ place and volleyball is different in different parts of the country so you have to be ready for anything.”
Amber Johnson leads the Lady Longhorns in both kills and digs with 254 and 300, respectively. She also leads the team in aces with 50.
The Lady Longhorns have four other players with triple-digit kills. Morghan Chambers adds 193 followed by Brianna Green (134), MaKenzie Chambers (120) and Xarie Taylor with 116.
Mikayla Polk leads the offensive flow with 367 assists while Jah-Kai Veal comes in with 214 and Tamia Levine adds 205.
Leading Cedar Hill’s defense at the net is Green with 149 blocks and Taylor with 98.
Chambers follows Johnson in digs with 220 while Jamira Allen (161), Polk (150) and Amendolyn Williams (121) all are in triple-digits.
The Lady Dawgs have six players in triple-digit kills led by junior Aidan Chace’s 434. Senior Talia Kinslow comes in next with 269 followed by sophomore Leah Powell (252), junior Jada Close (179) and junior Christina Pettigrew (112).
Cove also has six players with triple-digit digs led by junior Kristen Wasiak (694). Powell comes in next with 355 follwed by junior Aviyon Wilborn (316), Chace (305), junior Kamryn Ash (168) and senior Addie Cook (138).
Cove has four players in double-digit blocks, led by Pettigrew with 172. Chace adds (152) followed by Close (141) and Kinslow (126).
Ash leads the offense in assists with 822 while Chace chips in 581. Ash also leads in aces with 61 followed by Powell’s 36.
With a win against the Lady Longhorn’s, the Lady Dawgs will earn a second-round playoff matchup against the winner of tonight’s matchup between the runners-up of District 5-6A, Southlake Carroll (36-7), and the third-place team of District 6-6A, Plano (27-9).
“The playoffs will be a little faster paced and level of competition will be different,” said Cove senior defensive specialist Addie Cook. “We just need to communicate and pass well as a team. We need to play together the whole time and stay energized throughout the whole game and not just parts of it.”
The Lady Dragons defeated Copperas Cove in three sets in the same round last year and the Lady Dawgs may get a chance to avenge that loss should they get past Cedar Hill and the Lady Dragons get past Plano. The Lady Dragons fell in the regional finals to eventual champions Lewisville Hebron.
Annabelle Smith leads Southlake Carroll in both kills (481) and blocks to lead the Lady Dragons at the net. Natalie Glenn comes in next with 411 kills and Harper Hallgren chipped in 155.
McKenzie Nichols leads the offense in assists with 929 followed by Callie Craus (345).
Sabrina Monaco leads the back row defense with 645 digs followed by Glenn (453) Nichols (315) and Hallgren (295). Monaco leads in aces with 54.
Julia Adams leads the Plano Lady Wildcats in kills with 371 followed by Callie Parlin (233), Caitlin Cooper (189) and Jessie Johnson (166).
Johnson also leads in blocks with 57 followed by Cooper (48) and Adams (26).
The offense runs through Faith Panhans and her team-high 874 assists while Abbey Macaluso adds another 77.
Parlin leads the back row defense with 417 digs followed by Grace Glasscock (359), Panhans (223) and Macaluso (213). Panhans also leads the aces with 46.