By TJ Williams
The top of the 6-6A standings is all tied up going into Tuesday night, thanks to a victory by Plano West over Flower Mound last Friday (Sept. 29) that put the Jaguars, the Wolves and the Plano East Panthers each at 6-1.
West beat FM 16-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-27, 15-11.
Jamie Siegel’s Jaguars fell to 6-1 and 24-6 overall; Cooper Phillips’ Wolves are 6-1, 21-4; and Sarah Perez’s Panthers are 6-1, 24-10. Plano East’s sweep over Hebron last Friday put the Panthers in a great position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. What’s even more amazing about the Panthers’ program is the fact they’ve been to the playoffs twice since 2007; they had ZERO district wins between 2013-15 and just five total district wins between 2019-21.
“This year our mentality is (we’re) here to win,” Perez declared. “We finished just one game out of the playoffs last year (2022) with a 7-7 district record. We missed the playoffs by one game – it was frustrating, and I felt bad for the seniors on that team. Early on last year as we grew, we took matches to five sets. You could see then girls growing. Then, when we beat Plano High School on the road, people around here stood up and took notice. That was a big accomplishment, and the momentum grew from there.”
Perez then summarized: “We ended the season with a win over Marcus. Made me sad (for those seniors); we had some success but I really wanted that last win and playoffs for those seniors. But our success last year helped set the bar for this season.”
The win over West this year was, Perez believes, the first time East beat West since 2016, although she couldn’t definitely confirm it. The Panthers’ 23 wins this year so far (23-10 overall, 5-1 in District 6-6A, as of Sept. 28) are the most since that 2011 season – when the Panthers went three rounds deep in the playoffs – and since 2008, when Plano East won 27 matches and lost to eventual champion Amarillo in the Region 1 finals.
Buckle up – the second half of 6-6A will be very interesting!
Marcus vs Hebron
Coppell vs Plano West
Plano East vs Plano
Lewisville vs Flower Mound
Plano West 6-1
Plano East 6-1