Volleyball gears up for district against Franklin

October 18, 2019

The volleyball team's energy during a game is practically palpable.

Photo courtesy / Caroline Mann

The volleyball team's energy during a game is practically palpable.

As volleyball season heats up, teams across the borderland prepare to battle for the district 1-6A title. For the past four years, Coronado and Franklin have been ranked first and second in the district, allowing them to compete for the district title.

Both the Coronado and Franklin teams have been going back and forth with the district title. Last season, Coronado took the district title as well as the bi-district title and the area title. The Thunderbirds ended up losing in the fourth round of the Texas State 6A Volleyball Tournament. On the other hand, Franklin got second in the district, then lost in the first round of the state tournament.

“Last year, the varsity volleyball team did really well: they went further than Franklin, which was really inspiring since they are our rival team,” sophomore player Jaime Shelley said.

Unfortunately, the Thunderbirds lost the first time they played Franklin on Oct. 1. The team lost in four set battle, losing 16-25,17-25,23-25, 22-25. This was the Thunderbirds’ first loss in district season, leaving them with a 5-1 record.

“The game against Franklin was tough,” senior player Alyssa Heist said. “But we learned something, and we are looking forward to playing them again and hopefully have a different outcome.”

Coronado and Franklin will face off again on Friday Oct. 18, to determine who is the district champion. This game is highly anticipated because Franklin won the first game against the Thunderbirds in four sets. Last year, the Thunderbirds swept the Cougars in three sets, 25-21,25-15,25-19.

This year, however, the Thunderbirds have faced some serious obstacles: not only did they lose most of their team due to graduating seniors last year, but the team also does not have a home gym. Due to the Coronado construction, the volleyball team has not been able to host any games or practices, instead being required to travel to Franklin for practices and games.

“Not having the seniors from last year is definitely a setback,” returning varsity player Mia Stills said. “However, we have been working really hard to get the underclassmen up to speed so we can play at the same level we did last season. We have also been working really hard to get used to the Franklin gym.”

Making the competition even more unpredictable, the Thunderbirds have had a rough season thus far. For the past three years, the volleyball team had been undefeated before district play, but this year, they entered district with a 23-13 record.

On the other hand, Franklin has had a really good season in comparison to previous years. With a 26-10 record, Franklin is placed first in the district after defeating Coronado on Oct. 1.

“Franklin is definitely the team to beat this season,” sophomore player Sabra Castillo said. “Not only are they our rival, they are also our biggest competition in El Paso.”

The rest of the teams in the district – such as Socorro, Americas, Montwood, and Pebble Hills – are leagues behind Coronado and Franklin. Even though they all belong to the same district and 6A title, Coronado and Franklin are the two teams to beat in the borderland.

This week, both Coronado football and volleyball teams will play Franklin. On Thursday, Oct. 17, the football teams played at the annual Westside Bowl at UTEP’s Sun Bowl Stadium, where they lost 28-14. Today, the volleyball teams will face each other at the Franklin main gym. Both games are expected to fill the stands and provide an exciting game.

“The volleyball game is usually really good, and the football game usually has a great atmosphere with it being at the Sun Bowl Stadium,” spectator and senior Kaley Croom said.

Coronado, commending the football team for their efforts yesterday, now waits to see whether the volleyball team can emerge victorious from their battle for the district title.

About the Contributor
Photo of Sarah Roderick
Sarah Roderick, Writer

Sarah Roderick is a senior who has been in newspaper for two years. She loves being in newspaper because she truly enjoys writing about sports. She is...

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