Waco Midway at Ellison Volleyball

Ellison's Jakarta Hope passes against Waco Midway on Oct. 23 during the teams' regular-season finale at Ellison.

Soon, a state champion will be crowned.

With the regular season complete, the playoffs are set to begin today for the top teams from across the state, including five area programs — Copperas Cove, Ellison, Belton, Gatesville and Salado.

Although the Lady Bulldawgs enter the postseason with an impressive 40-3 record after defeating Class 5A No. 11 Hutto in a playoff warm-up match Saturday, their path is treacherous.

Copperas Cove opens its run in the Class 6A bracket tonight at West, where it will play Mesquite Horn at 6:30 p.m.

Should the Lady Bulldawgs, who spent a majority of the season in the state poll, win, they would immediately encounter a stiff challenge in the area round, where No. 4 Prosper will likely be waiting. The Lady Eagles (32-8) face Rowlett in their playoff opener.

It is not an unusual situation for Copperas Cove, though.

In 2016, No. 3 Southlake Carroll defeated the Lady Bulldawgs in the second round, repeating the feat last season. In 2014, Copperas Cove’s season ended in the regional quarterfinals against No. 8 Richardson Pearce.

Additionally, the Lady Bulldawgs fell in the second round to No. 12 Flower Mound in 2013.

But Copperas Cove is not the only team set to be tested.

Despite reaching the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, Ellison (30-11) has not advanced beyond the first round during the span, but the Lady Eagles will look to end the trend tonight, playing Rockwall at Italy. The match is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Lady Eagles would face either Abilene Wylie or Plano should they win, with a potential third-round match against either Prosper or the Lady Bulldawgs, who swept Ellison this season, looming.

Belton (19-24) travels to Corsicana for a first-round encounter with Rockwall-Heath at 7 p.m. tonight, and with a victory, the Lady Tigers would advance to play the No. 18 Sachse-McKinney winner.

All area-round matches will be played Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

In Class 4A, Gatesville (22-18) embarks on its 16th consecutive postseason run tonight at 7 p.m. against No. 4 Midlothian Heritage.

The match will be played at Waco University.

If the Hornets return to the area round for the third time since 2013, they would face either Rusk or Huntington — an honorable mention in the state poll.

Salado finished third in District 27-4A to qualify for its fifth straight appearance, setting up a first-round match against Boerne tonight at Llano at 6:30 p.m.

A win against the Lady Greyhounds would propel the Lady Eagles into the second round for the first time in more than a decade.

Should Salado win, odds are No. 18 Needville would be waiting. The Lady Blue Jays face Smithville to open the playoffs.

The regional quarterfinals will be Nov. 5-6 for any team delivering a pair of victories this week.

TONIGHT'S BI-DISTRICT MATCHES

CLASS 6A

  • Copperas Cove vs. Mesquite Horn, 6:30 p.m. at West HS
  • Ellison vs. Rockwall, 6:30 p.m. at Italy HS
  • Belton vs. Rockwall-Heath, 7 p.m. at Corsicana HS

CLASS 4A

  • Salado vs. Boerne, 6:30 p.m. at Llano HS
  • Gatesville vs. Midlothian Heritage, 7 p.m. at Waco University HS

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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