It's hard to call a state runner-up a surprise, but having lost a lot of player's from last year's team to graduation, Plano West was able to do just that on Friday night in a 5-set win over the area's, state's and nation's No. 1 team in Flower Mound.
Back and forth both teams went with West (9-2, 5-1) opening the match with a 25-22 win in the first set, ending Flower Mound's streak of eight straight sweeps. It was only just the second set loss on Flower Mound's ledger at the time.
Flower Mound (9-1, 5-1) battled back to tie things at 1-1 with a 25-19 win in set two, but sure enough, West was able to do it again in the third. Flower Mound once again tied things up after the fourth set, but Plano West was able to start quick in the final frame - a feat both teams had not dealt with all season - jumping out to a 6-1 lead and cruising the fifth set 15-7.
West head coach Jason Waters told the Plano Star Courier after the match that the loss the week before to Marcus definitely help reset the tean's focus. For context, West lost to Marcus 3-1, which lost to Flower Mound 3-0 as part of that eight-game streak.
The match's final point came off a great volley between the two teams and a block Sierra Giambalvo sealed the win.
It's a great litmus test for Plano West, which is looking to get back to State for the third straight year. West's next match is a non-district home matchup with Highland Park (5-5) on Tuesday. Flower Mound is on the road to face Hebron (3-4).
It's finally here. After a lot of worry and wonder, the big schools are ready to kick off their delayed seasons. For this week, we'll be breaking down three 6A schools at a time going through 3-6A through 11-6A in three installments.
Previewing 6-6A<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzMDUzOS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzQ5MTQxNX0.7qQErhxmW-yMOl0-9Dsfcy6tyUhoggyOLBQrTTInmkc/img.png?width=980" id="ca28b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7f982f0a221680647f86303b116664ac" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Graphic created by Stephen Peters<p>This district seems to be a district of straight chalk. Meaning, the teams that made it the playoffs last year - Marcus, Lewisville, Hebron and Flower Mound - could easily get back. This district is headlined by the strong quarterback play from Garrett Nussmeier (Marcus; signed with LSU), Taylen Green (Lewisville; signed with Boise State) and Carson Harris (Hebron; signed with Lamar).</p><p>One would expect those three to be playoff contenders again, but the fourth spot will be a toss up between Flower Mound and Coppell. Flower Mound only has eight starters returning last year while Coppell is looking to get back to the playoffs after missing out on them for the first time since 2011.<br> </p><h5>Projected 2020 Playoff Teams:</h5><p>Marcus<br>Lewisville<br>Hebron<br>Coppell<br></p>
Previewing 7-6A<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzMDU3My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTcwODcwNH0.zzZ1az6SmSi9g0ISNgNJ-RU1bay15mbJhTtT0KGW0Ro/img.png?width=980" id="4a850" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3ff07e9a45162792b1b3e7d38eec22ef" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Graphic created by Stephen Peters<p>7-6A could shape up in 2020 to be what 9-6A was in 2019, where chaos ruled the day. Up was down and left was right in that district last year. </p><p>There are a lot of new pieces together as the Irving schools meet the Richardson schools. Out of this new grouping, Jesuit looks like the clear-cut favorite, after a surprising run to the Regional Finals in 2019.</p><p>With four teams in this district that didn't win more than two games last year, there is a lot of unknown.<br></p><h5>Projected 2020 Playoff Teams:</h5><p>Jesuit<br>Lake Highlands<br>Pearce<br>Richardson<br></p>
Previewing 8-6A<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzMDU5MS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MDc0MzY5NX0.GW-_6GnMdDpC7bVw-I5tOTTOEexpCf7Lv3z58kGpISY/img.png?width=980" id="7970d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bc119076d7444b8a90c9480578ea12f0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Graphic created by Stephen Peters<p>The Arlington schools move away from some of the Fort Worth schools and join with the two Grand Prairie schools in what seems like a very top-heavy district. Five teams - Arlington, Bowie, Lamar, Martin and South Grand Prairie - made the playoffs last year and will be vying for those four coveted spots this year.</p><p>Arlington and Arlington Martin both made the regional semis last year and return 16 and 11 starters, respectively. The other three each bring back 12 starters, so the schools are loaded.</p><p>Expect this to be a knockdown-drag-em-out district in 2020.<br></p><h5>Projected 2020 Playoff Teams:</h5><p>Martin<br>Arlington<br>South Grand Prairie<br>Lamar<br></p>