72° F Monday, June 26, 2017

Taking it one match at a time is the mantra to start the playoffs for the Westlake volleyball team, rolling that into a half-dozen is all in the past.

With 40-plus games on the court this season and an undefeated district record, the Chaparrals are counting on experience to keep the season going into November.

“It’s a question of who’s learned the most from the course of the season and can apply it the best,” Westlake coach Al Bennett said. “We want to make a playoff run, yet at the same time, history has taught us, and our attitude is take it one game at a time. Everything we’ve done throughout the year has prepared us to make a playoff run … Our goal is to make a run as far as we can go, but we understand it starts with that first win.”

Westlake (23-19, 12-0) start the playoffs (after press time Tuesday) against District 16-5A fourth-seed Pflugerville, which is probably good enough to be a top-two seed in most other districts as three teams from that district are ranked. The Lady Panthers (7-5 in District 16-5A) beat the Chaps 25-15, 25-18, 19-25, 25-19 to start the regular season back on Aug. 13.

“We’re doing a lot of things better. Intuitively, we’re smarter in seeing what’s going on,” Bennett said. “We played them the first game of the year. That was 42 matches ago. So we’re looking for a total different result in 43rd match. We’re quite a bit different from first time we played them. We’ve progressed a lot.”

Ranked 30th in the latest TGCA poll, should Westlake advance to the area round of the playoffs, the squad would take on the winner of the A&M Consolidated-Klein Collins match. A&M Consolidated was ranked No. 20. The Chaps will start the playoffs without one of their top starters, Madison Borowski, who is out with an injury.

The Chaps have gotten better and better at keeping their errors to a minimum, which will be crucial against low-error Pflugerville, and any other potential playoff date.

“Whether we do it will be determined by what we do on the court and what our opponents do,” Bennett said. “I think it’s going to be huge for us – if we’re low-error we have a great chance to win the game.”

Should Westlake make the regional quarterfinal round (Nov. 5-6), one of four teams would await – Humble, Oak Ridge, Austin High or Hendrickson. Hendrickson is the most likely to emerge from that group as the No. 16 team in the state and a 10-2 record from District 16-5A, where No. 26 Westwood also went 10-2.

“The kids are excited and ready to go,” Bennett said.

Texas Girls Coaches Association Poll Oct. 29

Class 5A

1.     San Antonio Reagan

2.     Southlake Carroll

3.     Colleyville Heritage

4.     The Woodlands

5.     Lubbock Coronado

6.     Coppell

7.     Pearland

8.     El Paso Franklin

9.     Laredo Alexander

10.    Clear Lake

11.    Houston Cypress Woods

12.    Copperas Cove

13.    McKinney Boyd

14.    Sharyland

15.    New Braunfels

16.    Pflugerville Hendrickson

17.    Smithson Valley

18.    McAllen Rowe

19.    Brownsville Hanna

20.    A&M Consolidated

21.    San Antonio O’Connor

22.    New Braunfels Canyon

23.    Round Rock

24.    Harker Heights

25.    Hebron

26.    Round Rock Westwood

27.    Katy Cinco Ranch

28.    Flower Mound

29.    Allen

30.    Austin Westlake

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