Tonight, all four playoff teams have been decided. Brandeis, Brenan, Clark, and O’Connor have punched their golden ticket and will now begin thinking of strategies and skills needed to best their opponents to they may reach the big dance and play for the state championship.
However, as expected with Northside athletics a simple year of results and a clear playoff picture the last night of district competition shall not be. Still to be decided is the district championship. You might be wondering how is that possible, in Northside all things are possible.
On a Tuesday night almost a week ago, two hard-hitting and very talented teams met in a “winner takes all type game”. If O’Connor had won, they would remain undefeated and undisputed as the district champion.
Yet, if Clark won the game the two teams would be tied with identical win-loss records and having split head to head competition remained tied in that category as well.
Most inside Northside refused to even discuss the possible scenarios with me as they said, “We still have a lot of volleyball to play.” They were and remain correct. I know you want clarification. First, O’Connor had to escape Brandeis. In the very early years of the cross-town rivalry, O’Connor had the advantage over Brandeis. However, in the last three years, Brandeis has started to win more matches against the Lady Panthers. So going into Friday’s game—most were waiting to see if Brandeis would complete the upset and solidify O’Connor’s position as second place. This did not happen, leaving both Clark and OC tied for first.
Secondly, every team in Northside is competitive. The win loss record in this district remains confusing. Yes, a team may have only won one district game. Yet, if you go into the game with that opponent and expect that team to roll over—as you are slumbering in your over confident dream of victory—that team is scratching your eyes out and mopping the floor with defeated volleyball.
So tonight, O’Connor faces Warren. Warren is currently in fifth place. In the last district meeting they took the Lady Panthers to five matches before OC completed the victory. Warren could easily be the stepsister who spoils Cinderella’s dance.
O’Connor and Warren play at 6:30 in the Harlan Gym.
Clark plays Stevens tonight. The Falcons started the season with strong play. In early discussion Stevens was considered a playoff team. They could also play the role of spoiler tonight if they defeat Clark, and O’Connor wins the question of first and second will be decided without a playoff.
The Clark-Stevens game takes place at 7pm in the Northside gym.
In other action to complete district play and bring a close to the volleyball season for the remaining six schools include Taft and Brennan at Northside gym 5:30pm. Marshall faces Holmes at Paul Taylor Field House at 5:30pm. Jay will play Brandeis at Paul Taylor Field House at 7pm.
Check our website on Wednesday morning—www.helotesecho.com. We will have the district champion playoff game information (if needed) and we will have the playoff information for Brennan and Brandeis.