DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (VYPE) -- Dripping Springs has been an Austin area volleyball power in recent seasons. So, you might be surprised to hear that it's had to overcome some hurdles to reach the 2020 UIL 5A Region IV semifinal.
First, the Tigers had to replace some of their biggest leaders and playmakers from past seasons to extend their vast volleyball success this fall. That's because they graduated a trio of college-bound players (Tulsa's Avery Kalsu, Louisiana Tech's Mackenzie Murray and Abilene Christian's Sarah Nading) at the end of the 2020 spring semester.
Then, Dripping Springs faced unusual district struggles. Its 90-game win streak against district opponents came to a startling end when it suffered a 3-2 loss against New Braunfels Canyon on Tuesday September 29, 2020. The Tigers were later swept by the New Braunfels Canyon Cougars and Alamo Heights Mules and finished third in the UIL 26-5A district standings with a 12-4 record.
But, there's a reason why Dripping Springs is back at the regional semifinal for the fourth straight season and seventh time in the last eight years. It's bounced back in recent weeks. The Tigers have won seven games in a row, including finally getting a victory against Alamo Heights in Friday's UIL 5A Region IV quarterfinal match. They had lost three straight meetings against the Mules going back to the 2019 UIL 5A Region IV final.
So, what's next for Dripping Springs? It will battle McAllen starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Corpus Christi Ray High School in its fourth playoff match of the 2020 season. Expect it to lean on longtime coach Michael Kane and on-court talents Mackenzie Plante, Nicole Herbert, Madi Lund, Ryann Frontera and Morgan Van De Walle in the contest. If the Tigers prevail, they will meet the New Braunfels Canyon/Flour Bluff winner in this weekend's regional final. Fingers crossed for a Dripping Springs/New Braunfels Canyon rematch because we'd take that in an instant.