If Denton wants to extend its playoff streak to three straight years, the Lady Broncos will have to come up with one more win.
Denton, Azle and Wichita Falls Rider finished the regular season tied for third place in District 5-4A, setting up a mini-tournament in Bowie on Friday. Only two of those teams can reach the postseason, and Denton coach Danielle Silva is hoping her team can secure one of the spots.
Because of a coin flip, Denton and Rider will play a best-of-five match at 4:30 p.m. Friday, with the winner advancing to face Azle.
“I don’t want it in anybody else’s hands at all,” Silva said of her team’s playoff chances. “I want to be the one that’s controlling our fate. And I’m kind of excited in a way, because we do control our fate. We win, we’re in. That’s the bottom line and that’s the focus that we need to realize.”
Each of the three teams finished the regular season with an 8-6 district record, trailing district co-champions Trophy Club Nelson and Guyer.
Guyer swept Denton on Tuesday to prevent the Lady Broncos from picking up the third seed outright.
Denton (17-16) needs to win at least once Friday. If Denton beats Rider and then Azle, the Lady Broncos will have the district’s third seed, which sets up a showdown against Saginaw in the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs.
If Denton beats Rider but loses to Azle, the Lady Broncos will receive the district’s fourth seed and face Saginaw Boswell in the bi-district round. Boswell went undefeated in district play.
The mess in 5-4A is the result of Rider, Azle and Denton all winning once and losing once to each other during district play.
The Lady Broncos were able to force the confusing scenario with their strong play in the second half of the 5-4A campaign.
Denton won five of its final seven district matches, with its only losses coming to Nelson and Guyer.
“I think we finally found a good rotation,” Silva said. “Our go-to players really stepped up when they needed to step up. We finally found our groove.”
Silva said she was proud of the way her team’s fans came out and supported the Lady Broncos at Tuesday’s match against Guyer. She said it’s a sign of the excitement surrounding the team’s chances of reaching the playoffs.
“If we want to control our fate, we have to win our first game,” Silva said.
Guyer, Nelson set for tiebreaker Friday night
After beating up on the rest of District 5-4A all season, Guyer and Nelson have another match to decide which team will get rewarded with the district’s top playoff seed.
The teams will play at 6 p.m. Friday at Justin Northwest.
Guyer (30-9) and Nelson each finished 13-1 in district play, with each of those losses coming against the other team.
If the Lady Wildcats win, they will face Birdville in the bi-district round. A Guyer loss means the Lady Wildcats play Fort Worth Chisholm Trail.
Guyer coach Addie Mack said her team’s played well in the five matches since Nelson defeated Guyer.
“It seems as if when we did lose to Byron Nelson, we were allowed opportunities to reset, to refocus,” Mack said.
Mack said a win against Nelson could help boost the team’s morale and outlook on things, but either way she understands Guyer’s playoff competition will be tough.
“Our expectations are big, but at the same time, we’re not looking past what we have to overcome,” Mack said.
Calvary opens TAPPS playoffs with win
Calvary took the first step to defending its TAPPS Class 2A state championship Tuesday when it defeated Dallas Cambridge in the first round of the playoffs.
The Lady Lions earned a 25-7, 25-12, 25-12 straight-set victory against Cambridge at First Baptist Church of Denton.
Calvary senior Madeline Mayer had a team-high 14 kills and notched 10 assists, while senior Anna Hollingshead chipped in with 10 kills and five digs.
Calvary (26-12-2) will face Temple Holy Trinity (14-9) at 3:30 p.m. Friday at First Baptist.
TWU to host two matches
Argyle, the No. 1 team in Class 3A, according to the Texas Girls Coaches Association, will face Gainesville in the bi-district round at 7 p.m. Monday at Kitty Magee Arena.
Argyle (29-9) won its fourth consecutive district title and looks to return to the 3A state tournament for the second straight season.
At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Krum (25-13) faces Celina in the Class 3A bi-district round at Kitty Magee Arena. Krum reached the regional semifinals in 2012 before losing to Decatur.
Aubrey squares off against one of state’s best teams
Aubrey returns to the postseason for the first time since 2009, but the Lady Chaparrals will have their work cut out for them in the 3A bi-district round on Tuesday night.
The Lady Chaps will face No. 4 Decatur at 6:30 p.m. at Ryan. The last time Aubrey was in the postseason, it lost to Poth in the Class 2A state final.
Sanger to meet Lone Star
After narrowly missing the postseason in 2012, Sanger finished District 9-3A play strongly to reach the playoffs.
The Lady Indians (26-10) play Frisco Lone Star on Tuesday at Denton. The time for the match has not been determined, Sanger coach Tammy Niemczyk said.
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.