HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

Westwood finishes second at Warrior Showcase Tournament

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Tara Nelson knows how talented her team is, and that’s all she can expect of them.

With the season just over a week old, Westwood has won 13 of its first 14 games. The Lady Warriors most recently finished in second place finish at their own Warrior Showcase Tournament last weekend. 

“You want to walk away from a game knowing we gave them everything we had,” Nelson said. “Teams get beat, it happens. Obviously, the goal is to do well in district and playoffs, but all I can ask for is for them to show up and play to our potential.”

Senior outside hitter Maddi Kriz and sophomore setter Kenzie Beckham were both named to the  Showcase all-tournament team. Kriz led the team in kills, racking up more than 90 kills over the three-day tournament. 

Westwood went 6-0 in pool play, losing just two sets over the two-day portion of the tournament before running through McNeil and Round Rock in straight sets in the Gold Bracket Saturday afternoon to set up a final against Antonian Prep. 

The Lady Apaches took the first set 25-22. The Lady Warriors led most of the way in the second set but stumbled as the match went on to fall 25-23 for their first loss of the season. 

“Antonian outmatched us defensively,” Nelson said. “I think we were the stronger offensive team, but they just dug everything up and made us work so hard to earn our points. We just need to work on staying in the play.”

The Showcase was a little preview to the new District 13-6A, with seven of the nine teams competing. 

Round Rock finished in third place after beating Vandegrift in the gold bracket consolation final, McNeil won four of six pool play games to advance to the gold bracket and Leander got past Stony Point to take the consolation side of the silver bracket.

“Even though district starts early this year, a lot of teams are going to look different,” Nelson said. “Most teams have only had one or two days of practice. It’s nice to see a little bit how you’re going to match up with them.”

Nelson said Westwood has some solid outside hitters with versatility regarding what shots they can hit, but the defense needs some tweaking as the season pushes on.

Westwood heads to New Braunfels for the Frauline Tournament this weekend and will join 63 other teams in Leander ISD Voleypalooza next weekend before. District play begins early this season when the Lady Warriors face Leander on the road on Aug. 21. 

Until then, the Lady Warriors are going to take some much-needed time to recover. 

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Nelson said. “We have a great team, but we have a lot to work on. It’s crazy to think that this is only week one. It’s been a really long week and the girls are pretty beat up.”

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