Copperas Cove’s Qiana Canete (3) celebrates with her teammates after their win over Shoemaker on Tuesday at Shoemaker High School. The Lady Dawgs open the playoffs Tuesday against Duncanville at Waco Midway High School.

Copperas Cove repeated its regular season success from last season. Now, the Lady Bulldawgs must prove they can win in the playoffs.

After earning the first undefeated district championship in school history in 2012, Copperas Cove fizzled in the postseason, losing to Flower Mound in the second round.

This season, the Lady Bulldawgs defended their district championship, finishing the regular season tied with Waco Midway before beating the Pantherettes in a tiebreaker Friday to determine playoff seeding.

The victory propelled Copperas Cove into a bi-district match against Duncanville at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Midway High School, where the Lady Bulldawgs will look to begin a run they hope does not end until reaching the state tournament in Garland.

Duncanville enters the match with a 12-22 overall record and on paper, should be overwhelmed by Copperas Cove, which is ranked 21st in the current Class 5A poll with a 39-7 record.

Highlighted by a pair of powerful and explosive middle blockers in Qiana Canete and Bryaunea Hall, few have challenged the Lady Bulldawgs this season.

Copperas Cove has lost a total of five sets since district play began in early September. The Pantherettes handed the Lady Bulldawgs their lone district loss in a fifth-set tiebreaker before the teams went the distance once again Friday. This time, Copperas Cove emerged victorious, though, winning 22-25, 25-16, 25-22, 23-25, 15-7 to earn the district’s top seed.

Sweep sends Ellison riding high into postseason

Ellison returns to the Class 5A playoffs with a bit of momentum after sweeping Belton to end the regular season.

The victory was retribution for a sweep the Lady Tigers administered to Ellison earlier in the district season.

Now, the Lady Eagles (20-14) get District 7-5A champion Mansfield to open the playoffs as the teams will meet in the first match of a doubleheader Tuesday at Midway.

Mansfield lost just one district game after a 14-10 start to the regular season, and is 27-11 entering the playoffs.

The win against Belton by Ellison snapped a two-match skid for the Lady Eagles after Belton actually helped the Lady Eagles clinch the fourth and final playoff spot with a victory against Killeen.

The winner of Ellison-Mansfield faces the winner of Euless Trinity and Flower Mound in the area round.

Gatesville takes aim at 5th straight regional quarterfinal

Gatesville’s season has not ended until the regional quarterfinals in each of the last four years, but a fifth consecutive appearance will be a daunting task.

The Lady Hornets embark on their 11th consecutive playoff run Tuesday against Alvarado at 7 p.m. at Waco High School.

Like last year, Gatesville enters the playoffs as the second seed from District 8-5A after losing its only two district matches to No. 9 Liberty Hill, but that might be the only similarity.

Gatesville was forced to rebuild following last year after graduating the district’s offensive and defensive MVPs, as well as a pair of first-team selections. The turnover created some early-season frustrations, but the Lady Hornets won nine of their final 11 matches to end the season with a 23-16 overall record.

Alvarado enters the postseason opener with a 22-11 record and sports a roster full of seniors.

Should the Lady Hornets survive, another stiff challenge will most likely await them as they will face the winner between No. 11 Iowa Park and Mineral Wells in the area round.

Despite sweep, Belton in playoffs versus Mansfield Timberview

After building momentum to end the regular season, it ended with a dud for Belton on Tuesday.

The Lady Tigers were swept on the road against Ellison after sweeping the Lady Eagles at home Oct. 4.

Fortunately for Belton (24-13), the heavy lifting had already been done as the Lady Tigers’ clinched the No. 3 seed in District 8-5A, ahead of fourth-place Ellison, before the two played the regular season finale.

For that, Belton draws 7-5A runner-up Mansfield Timberview instead of 7-5A champion Mansfield in the bi-district round of the playoffs. The teams will meet today at 6:30 p.m. in Corsicana.

After winning five straight in league play, Timberview went 2-2 in the final four games of the season, including a loss to Midlothian to end the season.

The Lady Wolves are 21-21 overall.

The winner of the match will face the winner of Colleyville Heritage and Flower Mound Marcus in the area round.

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