Northside volleyball playoffs are set for Monday and Tuesday

Now the dust, excitement, and drama of the district race—including a playoff game to determine seeding—is over the real race to the big dance can begin on Monday night.

Brandeis will start the bi-district round with a game against Clemens. The game will be held at Blossom Athletic Complex at Littleton Gym. The first spike is scheduled for 7pm.

Brandeis enters the game as the District 28 third place finisher. They have an overall record of 31-11 and a district record of 14-4. The Lady Broncos lost both games to both Clark and O’Connor.

As a team the Lady Broncos are averaging 12.5 kills per set, 144 total blocks, 20.7 digs per set, 192 serving aces, and 1.7 aces per set.

The Lady Broncos bring into the game one of the best recruits in the nation, Emily Dewalt. As a setter, Dewalt digs the ball, provides leadership on the court, and moves as graceful as a gazelle avoiding a hungry pack of lions.

Dewalt is not alone. The libero, Courtney Clark throws her body around the volleyball court like it’s a night at the WWE Raw. She moves along the back digging the ball, and if the opportunity presents she will add to her impressive 116 spikes for the season. This senior is also responsible for 40 aces this season.

Vicoria Agu-Udemba and Maya Smalls (the name alone is a lesson in irony) guard the net like a policeman guarding a jelly donut. Small’s 109 spikes this season and Agu-Udemba 109 spikes this season make them a deadly duo that defends the Bronco court well but will also provide that offensive “spike” keeping the team in most all games.

Clemens enters the game by capturing second place in the 27 6A district race. The team has complied a 12-2 district race and an impressive 39-5 overall record.  

Clemens brings an experienced team into Littleton Gym–a team that owned Littleton Gym during the NEISD volleyball tournament. This year, the Buffalos captured the 46th annual tournament trophy by defeating Johnson and the then undefeated Clark volleyball team.

The Buffalos also bring size into the game. Lauren Teske and Shelby O’Neal would make any Amazonian women’s team jealous of their height and athletic ability. During regular season play, this dynamic duo unleashed a kill squad on the volleyball that would make most dove hunters jealous.

Helping to set up the gunners of Clemens is the senior setter, and 4-year varsity member, Mackenzie Miller. She moves along the court much like Ginger Rogers moved on the dance floor for Fred Astaire.

Tuesday night the other three Northside teams will see action.

O’Connor faces New Braunfels Canyon in a 7pm showdown at Alamo Convocation Center.

The Lady Panthers played a tough bi-district warm-up game when the coaches decided to play a game to determine the first and second place seeding for the bracket. The Lady Panthers took the Lady Cougars to five matches before winnig the game.

The Lady Panthers have a 18-1 district record and an overall record of 39-4. O’Connor’s libero Naomi Sing is not afraid to slide along the floor, like an Astro stealing a base. Sawyer Siemens, Aspen Thompson, and Chinelo Ogogor guard the net and provide better defense than Mike Ditka did in his playing days.

If you see a low flying speeding ball sailing over the net you can expect it to come from Allison Fields.

Alyssa Tatsch missed most of last season and the first half of this season. You can tell she is back in the rotation (so can the poor defenseless volleyball) as she power slams the ball onto the opponent’s side of the court. I actually believe I have heard a volleyball or two scream “why me?” as she takes a swing.

Parker Connell and Marina De La Rosa offer great support as they move along the court. The Lady Panther bench provides great coverage and assistance as they enter the court.

The Lady Panthers average 13.3 kills per set, 226 total blocks, 15.7 digs per set, and 196 serving aces.

The Lady Cougars or Cougarettes enter the game as the fourth place team in District 27 6A. They have a 9-5 district record and a 27-15 overall record.

The Lady Cougars bring in some height to the game and the two outside hitters Hannah Berry and Kylie Trefflich provide and offensive spark for the team.

The Lady Cougars have earned 12.3 kills per set, 299 total blocks, 16.8 digs per set, and 205 serving aces.

The Clark Lady Cougars take the court against Smithson Valley at 7pm at Littleton Gym. The Lady Cougars enter the game with a 17-2 record and 36-3 overall record. The Lady Cougars 28 6A Co-Champions earned the 2nd place seed by losing to O’Connor in five matches last Friday.

The Lady Cougars bring a forest to the net. Micayla Reiland, Kara McGhee, and Elise McGhee, along with Cailtlin Lorenz stand on the court like a group of San Antonio Sequoias. For those who don’t know, the Sequoias outlived the dinosaurs, they arrived 70 million years before dinosaurs and they are really, really, really huge trees. Many of the Lady Cougar opponents have stood dwarfed by the forest and many volleyballs have been consumed by the forest.

The Lady Cougars’ libero ranks as one of Texas’s best. She weaves and ducks around the Sequoias like Marie in the Nutcracker ballet. She sets the ball, she returns the ball, and she isn’t afraid to fall to the ground like a lady bull rider.

The Lady Cougars earned 13.1 kills per set, 319 total blocks, 19.5 digs per set, and 214 serving aces.

Smithson Valley the unfortunate third place finisher in district 28 6A earned the right to travel through the Forest. Due to early tournament play and it being Halloween night for the match, the Lady Rangers know what ghosts and goblins reside in the forest. Tuesday night may prove to be more trick than treat for the Lady Rangers. They enter the game with a 9-5 district record and an overall 24-15 record.

The Lady Rangers amassed 11.5 kills per set, 230 blocks per game, 17.6 digs per set, and 199 serving aces.

The Lady Bears from Brennan travel to Boerne Champion for their game against New Braunfels. The game will start at 7pm. This gym and site have proven to be a favorite for the Lady Bears as they have played a game here each year for the last three. Most teams are happy to reach the playoffs. However, the prospect of facing New Braunfels who has consistently ended many Northside playoff dreams was not the treat the Lady Bears expected for Halloween.

The Lady Bears bring a 12-6 district record and 23-18 overall record into the game. MaKenna Hanssen, libero, ranks as one of the area’s best. Her leadership on the team and aggressive play helps to keep the Lady Bears focused and a contender in most games.

Coach Robin Hanssen hopes the experience the team develops this year leads to a more successful season next year.

The Lady Bears accomplished 11.2 kills per set, 222 blocks, 22.7 digs per set, and 201 serving aces.

The Lady Unicorns are not as mythical as their name. The team enters the game with a 13-1 district record, 29-13 overall record and ranked fourth by that other paper as team standings for the San Antonio area.

The libero for New Braunfels makes those in the stands believe in flying unicorns. She moves quickly and isn’t afraid to challenge walls, people, floors, and rooftops (ok maybe not rooftops) in returning the ball.

The Lady Unicorns also have some height at the net to help stop the ball from landing in Unicorn Land.

The Lady Unicorns punish teams with 12.1 kills per set, 552 blocks, 17.0 digs per set, and 145 serving aces.

So come out, come out to the volleyball playoffs where tricks and treats are awaiting three of our schools. Brandeis will miss Halloween night on the court but hopefully they will have received their treat early.

As always, The Echo will be posting score updates on Twitter and Facebook. We will have play off images on our Facebook page, and have the stories of the matches on our website.

Hope to see you at the game; my costume will be a camera and press badge. Good luck to all Northside teams as they play in the bi-district round.

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