By TONY EIERDAM
With just three matches played to date by all schools in the District 6-3A volleyball race, it would seem foolish to place a lot of emphasis on any of the league matches that will be played today.
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams will continue 6-3A play at 6:30 p.m. today at Fort Worth Diamond Hill. The freshman and junior varsity matches will begin at 5 p.m.
But with three teams – the Lady Rams, Lake Worth and Castleberry – all knotted up in a third-place tie at 1-2, each of the remaining seven district matches are indeed important.
Beginning this year, the top four teams from each district advance to the Class 3A playoffs.
But as of today, one of the three aforementioned teams would be left out of postseason play, meaning each and every match from today forward is huge.
The Lady Rams are coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of state-ranked No 16 Springtown in a match played last Friday.
Although Diamond Hill is winless in district play, the Lady Rams cannot afford a let up. As always, communication will be the key to a Lady Rams’ victory.
“We are taking it one match at a time,” Lady Rams head coach Taylor Eggleston said. “I have laid out the playoff scenarios to the girls, and they know what it takes to make the playoffs.
“They know (today’s) match is important in our quest to make the playoffs.”
Last year, the Lady Rams set a school mark by becoming the first MWHS volleyball team to win a playoff match and advance to the area championship.
This week will tell a lot about the Lady Rams and their chances of qualifying for postseason play.
After today’s match, the Lady Rams will host Castleberry (at 5 p.m. at the MWHS gym).
Two wins this week would give the Lady Rams a 3-2 mark at the halfway point of district play.
Eggleston hopes she gets the same type of play today that sparked the Lady Rams to a win over Lake Worth last week.
“(In the Lake Worth match) everybody played and contributed whether it was playing all the way around or just getting in one game,” she said. “Each girl contributed in her role.”
The Lady Rams have also been getting outstanding net play from senior Bethany Allen, last year’s 6-3A top libero.
That move, combined with the steady play of outside hitter Brittany Guill and the middle blocking of Bailey Simonton has seen the Lady Rams improve each match on the front row.
“We have to talk to each other, and when we do we always play well,” Guill said. “Coach (Eggleston) always says communication is the key to win, and when we do we seem to win.”