NZ celebrates senior class

Posted 10/27/20

The North Zulch volleyball team concluded their district season with their fourth straight victory Friday and celebrated the careers of nine senior players before polishing off Hearne in straight sets at NZHS.

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NZ celebrates senior class

Posted

The North Zulch volleyball team concluded their district season with their fourth straight victory Friday and celebrated the careers of nine senior players before polishing off Hearne in straight sets at NZHS.

“It was an emotional night for my girls,” said North Zulch head coach Melissa Padgett. “We had a great turnout of parents and a really beautiful display in the front.”

Some younger members of the North Zulch volleyball program were not able to attend the senior ceremony or Hearne matchup as a precautionary measure after they were exposed to COVID-19 (no member of the volleyball program currently has the virus).

“Our JV team wasn't able to be there, which was pretty upsetting for my girls,” said Padgett. “They are pretty close with the younger girls and their senior year hasn't been what they were hoping it would be anyway. It was the best you can do given the circumstances.”

The majority of the North Zulch roster celebrated their senior nights Friday, including Madison Murphy, Jordan Barrington, Cheyanne Wallin, Dannicka Diserens, Tessah Haggard, Trinitty Wallace, Paige McWilliams-Leggett and Katelyn Crocker.

The Lady Bulldogs defeated Hearne by scores of 25-13, 25-5 and 25-15. It was their fourth straight victory, a streak that includes their win at Mumford in five sets Oct. 20.

“We did not play well (against Mumford),” said Padgett. “Even though we were playing poorly, we found a way to get it done, and that is comforting to me. Even though I was kind of aggravated, I never felt like the girls thought they were going to lose. I was glad to see them not panic, they didn't get frustrated.”

The scores in the win over Mumford were 25-21, 20-25, 24-26, 25-22 and 15-11.

Before they begin their postseason push, the Lady Bulldogs competed against New Waverly in a playoff warmup match Tuesday. The two programs were originally scheduled to play just before North Zulch began district play, but the matchup was canceled due to COVID-19.

North Zulch finished district play with a record of 8-6 as a 1A team competing in a predominately 2A district. They will advance straight to the Area playoff round to play Apple Springs Nov. 3, leaving a sizable gap between official matchups.

“I have talked to the girls about how the further we go into the season, we will have more quality and less quantity (in terms of practices),” said Padgett. “We will try to shorten up practices, stay healthy and not be tired. Especially this year with the way things are, when your body runs down and you get physically exhausted, your immune system is more susceptible to get sick. We cannot afford to get sick, there is not makeup time.”

Padgett and the Lady Bulldogs have their sites set deep into the 1A bracket as they prepare to begin a bid for the state playoffs with a senior-heavy roster.

“I really believe to see us in the Regional Finals facing Neches,” said Padgett. “I have seen them play and they are good. They are a solid team who we’ve been talking about all year, that is the team for us to beat. We need to peak at that time and I think we are heading in the right direction. I think the girls are confident about that and what they have to do to get the job done.”

The team’s Nov. 3 Area matchup against Apple Springs will begin at 6 p.m. and take place in either Crockett or Centerville.

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