The regular season may not be over yet, but four area teams will looking toward the postseason after finishing off district play tonight.
Ellison finishes the season at Belton, Cove plays at Shoemaker while Lampasas travels to Gatesville to close out the regular season and District 8-5A and 8-3A play.
“They’re all pretty excited, they’re all pretty nervous, but at the same time, they can’t wait to play,” Ellison coach William De Gracia said about the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Eagles rode a roller-coaster of emotions on Friday after they were swept by Cove at home.
Ellison had a post game ceremony for its two graduating seniors, but about 20 minutes after the match finished, the team got word that Killeen lost and they would make it to the playoffs.
Tonight’s match with Belton has no bearing on the district standings, but De Gracia said the objective is still the same.
“We’re going to try to get the win and we have a good chance to do that,” De Gracia said.
Belton swept Ellison 25-14, 25-14, 25-15 on Oct. 4. De Gracia said that he has emailed coaches in Austin, Pflugerville and Leander to try and set up a playoff warm-up game this Friday.
Ellison will face the District 7-5A champion in the bi-district playoffs which will be either Mansfield or Timberview. After 13 games of district play, Mansfield holds a one-game lead on Timberview for the district lead and the two teams split the head-to-head matchups this season.
Meanwhile, Cove looks to clinch at least a share of the district title tonight against Shoemaker.
Cove is tied with Waco Midway for the district lead and a win coupled with a Midway loss to last place Temple would give the Lady Dawgs the undisputed district title.
Cove swept Shoemaker during the previous meetings by the two teams earlier this season.
Cove will face either Midlothian, Duncanville, Desoto or South Grand Prairie in the bi-district playoffs.
Midlothian is in third place in District 7-5A with an 8-5 record while Duncanville is a game behind at 7-6. Desoto and South Grand Prairie are each one game out of the playoffs at 6-7.
Belton will face either Mansfield or Timberview, whichever team ends up as the runner up.
Lady Tigers coach Stacy Meyers said the team will not play a warm up game prior to the playoffs and looks to build momentum with a strong game tonight against Ellison.
“I think we’re peaking at the right time and doing a lot of things smart,” Meyers said. “We’ll be playing a higher seeded team and we’ll technically be playing at a disadvantage.”
Gatesville, like Ellison, is going to fine tune things tonight as their playoff spot is locked.
Gatesville finished as the District 8-3A runner up and will play either Alvarado or Glen Rose, the third place finisher in District 7-3A.
Gatesville’s only district losses this season were to eventual champion LibertyHill.
The University Interscholastic League’s deadline for district certification across the state is Saturday while the bi-district playoffs are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 4 and 5.