By TONY EIERDAM
When the Mineral Wells Lady Rams conclude the District 6-3A volleyball season today at Castleberry, the team will be looking at much more than ending the regular season on a two-match winning streak.
The Lady Rams, who clinched a playoff spot for the second year in a row on Friday after a 25-18, 25-20, 25-16 win over Fort Worth Diamond Hill, will travel to River Oaks to face the Castleberry Lady Lions at 6:30 p.m. at the Castleberry High School gym.
The stakes will be high for the Lady Rams, who come into the match with a 4-5 district mark and tied with Lake Worth for third place. MWHS clinched a playoff spot and at least a fourth-place finish when it defeated Diamond Hill.
Although clinching the final playoff spot achieved one goal, fourth place is not a desirable position as 6-3A’s fourth-place representative will face the winner of District 5-3A, state-ranked No. 11 Iowa Park.
To put the Lady Hawks’ ranking in perspective, note that Springtown, the 6-3A winner and a team that has run the table in the district to this point including a pair of wins over the Lady Rams, is ranked No. 14.
However, the Lady Rams can clinch third place with a win over Castleberry coupled with a Lake Worth loss at Diamond Hill.
But a Lake Worth loss is not likely as Diamond Hill has not won a match in district play.
If both the Lady Rams and Lake Worth win, a tiebreaker match would be played to determine the third and fourth seeds in the district. The teams split a pair of matches in district play as each team won on its respective home court.
If it comes down to an “11th district match” the Lady Rams/Lake Worth tiebreaker would likely be played on Thursday or Friday, the designated “district certification” days.
“We are not looking past Castleberry,” Lady Rams head coach Taylor Eggleston said. “To win the match we will have to put everything together.
“We need to be aggressive but also make sure that we make them make the mistakes.”