Senior Reese Mann, defensive specialist, spikes ball over net in hope of a point. (Photo / Sarah Roderick)
Senior Reese Mann, defensive specialist, spikes ball over net in hope of a point.

Photo / Sarah Roderick

Volleyball team heads into playoffs after dramatic seeding game against rival Franklin

November 4, 2019

As volleyball teams begin to prepare for state playoffs, one thing must be settled first. The Coronado and Franklin have been battling for the title all season long and were crowned Co-District Champions, but a game three was necessary to determine who would be seeded higher heading into playoffs.

The girls are on pace for another historic season with a 9-1 district record and a 28-13 overall. They have beaten impressive teams this season such as El Paso High, Chapin, and Midland High. Nonetheless, Franklin has been their biggest opponent for the district title.

Photo / Sarah Roderick
Junior Kristen Kazhe, middle hitter, prepares to spike the ball over the net in the Nov. 1 game against Franklin.

“Franklin is truly our biggest opponent in the El Paso area,” sophomore Jamie Shelley said. “They are also our biggest opponent because they are our rivals.”

Coronado and Franklin are share the number one rank in the district, but a seeding match was held to determine playoff seats. Both teams will still travel to state playoffs, but the team that won will be placed higher in the state bracket.

The first time the team played Franklin on Oct. 1, they lost in four sets, 16-25, 25-17, 23-25, 22-25. This was an upset for the girls because they were predicted to win since they had a better district record. However, they came back strong on October 18, when they beat the Cougars in four sets, 25-22, 25-15, 25-10, 25-19.

“Playing Franklin the second time really boosted our confidence as a team, and it was a great feeling to beat them after they beat us,” Shelley said.

The dramatic game three did not result in the best outcome for the Thunderbirds. In a five-set game, the Cougars beat the Thunderbirds, 25-18, 25-19, 25-17, 25-23, 15-6. However, it was not an easy win for the Cougars, since the Thunderbirds  never gave up.

“The team fought really hard again on Friday,” senior Alyssa Heist said. “Everyone on the court wanted to win, and it made the game super exciting, but I wish we had won.”

Photo / Sarah Roderick
The volleyball team stands in a circle discussing strategies. They are confident in their abilities and believe they stand a chance of advancing to the sweet sixteen.

Key players for the game include senior standout Alyssa Heist, senior Reese Mann, sophomore Elleson Ross, and sophomore Jaime Shelley. Heist led the team against Franklin with 2 kills, 2 blocks, 51 assists and 11 digs. The offense of the team was led by Jaime Shelley with 13 kills and 1 assist, Elleson Ross wasn’t far behind with 12 kills and 2 digs. Defensive specialist Reese Mann was also a key role in the game with 4 kills, 8 digs and 2 assists.

Since they lost this seeding match, the girls will play Midland Lee, on Monday November 4 at Franklin Magnet, as their first playoff game. This game is predicted to end in favor of Coronado because they have already beaten Midland Lee once prior this season. On November 14, Midland Lee traveled to El Paso, then got beaten by Coronado in four sets, 25-23,25-21,24-11,25-16.

Last season, the volleyball team battled to the sweet sixteen of the state playoffs. This means that they won four games in the playoff bracket making it to the top 16 teams in the state of Texas.

“As a team we really want to make it to the sweet sixteen again, we are going to play our hardest to hopefully get there,” Ross said.

The team will begin its journey tonight against Midland Lee.

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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