We keep trucking along this 2020 season with a lot of teams in 5A and 6A beginning their district calendar. As we've done the past few weeks, we look at five intriguing matchups for Thursday night. For this week, we reached out to each team's head coach to get what was most important for their respective team to focus on this week (not all coaches responded by publishing time).
Lewisville (2-1) vs. Plano West (2-1)<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU1ODA2NC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1ODU2OTgzMX0.CiiIODtI3PaXNUBICkgHj_7HUXgdrk9YO3A5kaLvwww/img.png?width=980" id="7d4fe" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f9952b9bd7d4660acebfd64162972fa7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Lewisville is about where they should be to start the 2020 season. Plano West, however, is off to a surprising 2-1 start under first-year head coach Tyler Soukup. This matchup begins 6-6A play where we <a href="https://www.vype.com/6a-preview-part-2-6-6a-7-6a-8-6a?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1" target="_blank">predicted Lewisville to finish second</a>.</p><p><strong>Lewisville head coach Michael Odle said the main focus:</strong> "We must win 1st down as they have a really good front 6 and control the game with the running game on offense."</p><p><strong>Plano West head coach Tyler Soukup said this main focus:</strong> "We have to continue to play tough defense and rush the football with success."<br></p>
Garland (3-0) vs. Garland Sachse (1-1)<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU1ODA3Ny9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzgzODczOH0.M1q_khac9LDp9deJvw5xjr1CixKz5WFQ6WfVRpmt_JI/img.png?width=980" id="ff346" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c7024acf88850df36792ce4c9a09ae03" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Another surprising team is Garland at 3-0 overall and 2-0 in 9-6A play, haven taken down <a href="https://www.vype.com/Texas/DFW/6a-preview-part-3-9-6a-10-6a-11-6a?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1" target="_blank">district favorite Naaman Forest</a> last week. Sachse is 1-0 in district play after toppling North Garland last week.</p><p><strong>Garland head coach Danny Russell said the main focus: </strong>"We need to focus on us, control the things we can control and not concern ourselves with things we cannot."</p><p><strong>Sachse head coach Mark Behrens said the main focus: </strong>"Slow down all their D-1 players and execute on both sides of the ball."<br> </p>
#1 Denton Ryan (3-0) vs. Frisco Wakeland (4-0)<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU1ODEyMC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNDIyNjA0MH0.2Q-gJEh8knfQ4LbbZwGJGLx5B78xDKcbzBftRr7ZFeg/img.png?width=980" id="6dec5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="530a0162791e7040a5e31fd60ac0fd12" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>A pair of undefeated 5-5A DI teams meet, coming off big district-opening wins last week. Ryan has been in an interesting situation with games being canceled and having decisions placed, reversed and reversed again. Wakeland gave up a season-high 13 points last week but also scored a season-high 45.</p><p><strong>Ryan head coach Dave Henigan said the main focus: </strong>"We just need to get better and focus on ourselves. . Practicing this week will help. We were very rusty with the layoff."<br></p>
Birdville (1-0) vs. Midlothian (2-0)<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU1ODEzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDY4NjcwMX0.90sGtgDHJVcRFeCn72WiG_z6UH2pXWmGKgPZu2TRBIw/img.png?width=980" id="4da70" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="397e8cb2838a7cdd4d86f1a10807edc5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>It's the 4-5A DI district opener for Birdville and Midlothian this week. Both teams have been hit with cancellations already as was unable to start on September 25 like most other teams and hasn't played in two weeks (October 9). Midlothian hasn't played in three weeks after winning its first two games.</p><p><strong>Midlothian head coach Doug Wendel said the main focus:</strong> "They have only played one game; they will do stuff we haven't seen out of them, so our ability to recognize and adjust will be critical."<br></p>
Mansfield Timberview (3-0) vs. Burleson (3-1)<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU1ODE3MC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMDY1MjI2N30.x5g0L764O-TIIRDDa-0JuDzkFrW8spXdRTsyhaXatTQ/img.png?width=980" id="9b152" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c395cc373912b39f197694fbc4560201" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>It's the penultimate district game for Timberview and Burleson this week as 5-5A Division II is utilizing zones for the 2020 season. Having only three district games before zone seeding means each game is crucial. Timberview downed Cleburne last week in a close, low-scoring matchup while Burleson put up more than 60 points for the second straight week.</p><p><strong>Burleson head coach Jon Kita said the main focus: </strong>"Don't focus on winning Focus on doing our job one play at a time."<br> </p>
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21 Oct, 2020
HOUSTON - Looking towards the 2020 season, Kate Zora envisioned her 500th career victory would come in August.
Due to COVID-19 pushing back the beginning of the season for Class 6A programs and the University Interscholastic League eliminating tournament play, that milestone would have to wait.
On Tuesday, with a 3-0 victory over Tomball - pushing Klein's overall record to 15-0 and 6-0 in district play - Zora reached No. 500.
"You don't get anywhere without great athletes that want to work hard every single day and that has attributed to the success that we've had," Zora, who has coached at FB Bush, Round Rock Westwood, A&M Consolidated and Klein in her career, said. "It's like a business, your best asset isn't what your product is but the people. We try to invest a lot of time and effort on building relationships. I think that's been a big attribute to the success."
<p>Entering this week, Klein remained No. 1 in Texas in Class 6A with a perfect record and have dropped only one set all season. Klein is followed by Pearland Dawson at No.2 and Seven Lakes at No. 5. </p><p>The Bearkats are also nationally ranked in the AVCA/USA Today poll at No. 3 in Region 4. </p><p>"This group, they're special," Zora said. "They are really focused and are really driven on what the goals are. They come in each day prepared ... They know what they want to be able to do and that's the biggest thing." </p><div class="rm-embed embed-media"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Great 3-0 win today over a super tough Woodlands team! Outstanding team effort with strong defense and dominate offense- way to go ladies!! So proud of you!! 💙💛<br><br>Also special shoutout to our JV for their outstanding 3-set win 🎉🎉<a href="https://twitter.com/KleinHigh?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KleinHigh</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BrandonBaker31?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BrandonBaker31</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/coach_hallmark?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@coach_hallmark</a> <a href="https://t.co/hQANOXRVUZ">pic.twitter.com/hQANOXRVUZ</a><br>— Klein HS Volleyball (@KleinVolleyball) <a href="https://twitter.com/KleinVolleyball/status/1315115359771467776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" charset="utf-8" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></div><p>Klein reached the Region II-6A Finals a year ago, falling to eventual state champion Plano West. <br></p><p>Since that loss, Zora said the motto for the group has been "Locked In", ironically foreshadowing what the players would have to go through the next few months during the COVID-19 quarantine. </p><p>"It was just really a mindset and mentality," Zora said. "We were going to be locked in and focused on their goal. They have done that and a lot of that is leadership but at the same time when you have leaders you have to have everyone to follow. As a team we try to stay as balanced as possible." </p><p></p><p>Klein this season has been led by seniors Clemson-commit Devan Taylor (141 kills, 245 digs and Annie Antar (116 kills, 144 digs and 272 assists) but the leader in kills through 15 matches has been sophomore Ariana Brown with 157 and 29 aces. </p><p>"The amount of improvement she has been made has been amazing," Zora said about last year's District Newcomer of the Year. "She's playing with a lot of confidence and I attribute that to the amount of hard work and time she has put into her game. You don't get better because you want to, you get better because you really worked hard for it." </p><p>Defensively, Rice-commit Gaby Mansfield has led the team in digs with 253 and Camy Kling, who recently committed to University of North Alabama, has led the team in assists with 287. </p><p>For a team that's goal has been reaching the UIL State Tournament in 2020, they have had literally everything thrown at them that could be foreseen as an obstacle - global pandemic, losing a traditional offseason, no club volleyball circuit, a late start to the season. </p><p>But this group has taken it in stride and doesn't look to be slowing down. </p><p>"I attribute that to their flexibility," Zora said. "It goes back to that idea of 'Locked In'. They are just like 'we know what our goal is, we will be flexible when we need to be flexible, we understand things are going to be last minute'. We are just trying to take it one day at a time and handle everything that we have. We just try to communicate as much as possible.</p><p></p><p>"They've just kept a really level mentality where they're not really letting anything get to them, which I think is very mature of them. I think that's what makes them special. Their ability to handle pressure and handle changes." </p><p>Klein will be back on the court on Friday at home against Klein Cain and have seven regular season matches left on the slate prior to the 2020 playoffs beginning, where they will try and advance to state. </p><p>"This group of seniors has been to the Regional Tournament every single year," Zora said. "They've established a good legacy of high expectations." </p>
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