Area volleyball teams prepare for first playoff round

Julie Garcia By Julie Garcia

Oct. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

Though the Burton Lady Panthers defeated the Ganado Maidens in the first round of playoffs last season, Ganado coach Bryan Branch said it's not going to be a rematch this time around.

Ganado (15-15) will play Burton (23-5), Tuesday in Columbus.

"It's really two totally different teams," Branch said, about this year's first round playoff game.

Since the first tournament of the season, Branch told his team to not focus on their win-loss record.

"I told them early on that we would lose some games in the preseason that we would probably win today," Branch said. "I told them to be patient."

Those initial losses to Bay City (4A), Industrial and Palacios (2A) in the preseason helped Ganado prepare for tough district play and playoffs, Branch said.

"I think our district in this region is one of the toughest districts," he said. "We're passing a lot better and that's the main thing. Offensively, we're attacking, and we're blocking a lot better."

District 30-2A

With three fresh faces on the court, Goliad coach Jess Morris said it was important they learn how to flow together early on.

"They were not in the mindset of how it's going to work and being able to work with each other," Morris said. "But once it clicked, there was no stopping it. We were on a roll."

The Goliad Tigerettes (27-8) will play Natalia Tuesday at Nixon-Smiley. Goliad beat Natalia last year in three sets.

"It's a whole new season, we're starting over from scratch with a fresh mind. You can't assume they'll give you whatever you want," Morris, a Goliad volleyball alumnus, said. "As long as as the girls do their jobs and know their roles - it's hard to beat a team that way."

For Edna (26-11), its first round opponent will be Randolph in Gonzales Tuesday.

Edna coach Rachel Collins said the Cowgirls have learned many tough lessons this year.

"They learned they have to fight for every point. We can't ever relax and get complacent - that was our problem," she said.

Along with a more complicated offense and constantly working on blocking and digging, Collins said the girls are ready for playoffs.

"They know that it's do or die and basically this is what you train for all season. There's no time for any more lessons," she said

Collins expects Randolph to have a scrappy offense.

"We'll have to work hard to get the ball, put the ball down and get points. We have to stay on our toes and play tough," she said. " Every game is a big game, so you have to play like it."



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