Lady Eagles find themselves in a familiar place: the playoffs
MILANO—The No. 12 Milano Lady Eagles are ready to hit the court again, as they take on the Utopia Lady Buffs on Thursday in Luling at 6 p.m. during the area round of the Class A state volleyball playoffs.
Milano (27-8) has not played a game in nearly two weeks since clinching the District 25A title on Oct. 22 against Thrall.
The Lady Eagles were not able to schedule a warm up game.
Veteran head coach Wendy King, in her 18th year at the helm, will have her team ready, despite the time off.
“I am not at all concerned about the lay off. I tried to find a warm up game but so many local teams were tied for district seeds that we just couldn’t find anyone,” King said.
“We have been practicing with selected members of our JV team. They are a very talented group of girls and provide us with some good competition.”
Critics thought that the Lady Eagles might not even reach the playoffs this year, as they returned just three players in their entire varsity roster that had varsity floor playing time, but they rose to the challenge and then some.
“I am extremely proud of what this team has accomplished so far. They have pulled together to win a district championship and I don’t know if anyone believed they would do that. I knew we had a chance but had no idea how they would respond to varsity competition. They have come through and more,” King said.
“I won’t compare them to last years team because that is not fair. Year in and year out, all my teams work hard and do their best to achieve the most they are capable of. I believe we have continued that tradition this year.”
Utopia defeated D’Hanis on Tuesday night to reach the matchup with Milano.
Utopia (16-10) was the third place team in 27A and D’Hanis runner up in 28A.
The winner of the Lady Eagles and Utopia game will move on to the regional quarterfinals round early next week. They will face the winner of the Medina-Round Top Carmine game.
“I would just like to say how much I have enjoyed the season and how much fun these girls have been to coach. They started pretty rough and I have received many compliments about the progress they have made,” King said.
“They should be proud of their season whatever happens over the next couple of weeks. I know I am.”
Milano has been ousted in the regional quarterfinals round for the last two seasons.
The Lady Eagles haven’t missed the post-season in 12 years. Their last district title was in 2009. This year’s league championship was the 11th for King at Milano.
Other 25A teams Thrall and Holland fell on Tuesday night in the first round of the playoffs. Thrall lost in four sets to Somer v ille and Holland was swept by RTC.