Palestine Ladycats (7-17) vs. Robinson Lady Rockets (11-9)

FAIRFIELD – The Palestine Ladycats travel to Fairfield High School for a bi-district match against the Robinson Lady Rockets Friday. Robinson finished second in District 18-4A with district winner China Springs handing them their only pair of lossess. Robinson was swept in the bi-district round of the 2019 4A playoffs to Midlothian Heritage.

The Ladycats improved upon their fourth-place district finish last season to a 4-4 record that earned them third place. Palestine graduated five of their key contributors from that bi-district qualifying team and enter this year's playoffs with zero seniors on their roster.

Junior Monique Thompson and sophomore Mallory Mitchell leads the Ladycats in kills, aces and assists with 217 combined kills, 69 combined aces and 311 combined assists.

Head coach Janae Evans is excited about the future of Palestine volleyball as their entire playoff roster will be back in 2021. The Ladycats are currently ranked 142nd in MaxPreps 4A while Robinson is 53rd. Strength of schedule also favors Robinson, +7.9 to +1.2.

Match start is scheduled for 6 p.m., Friday, at Fairfield High School. Winner will move on to play the winner of Manor New Tech and the Jarrell Lady Cougars in the area round.

Frankston Maidens (13-7) vs. Normangee Lady Panthers (3-11)

ELKHART – The Frankston Maidens are in the playoffs for the first time under head coach Lisa Hokit and the first time since 2009.

Frankston enters the 2A Region III bi-district round as the top seed from District 21-2A. They're pinned against District 22-2A fourth-seed Normangee.

Playoff volleyball will be a brand new experience for the five seniors and five juniors that make up the Maidens rotation. But coach Hokit said they'll draw on the playoff basketball experience some of her players has had during their high school careers.

Frankston finished 11-3 through district with two of their lossess coming from two-time reigning 1A state champions Neches Lady Tigers.

Outside of the Maidens dropping from 3A to 2A this year due to UIL realignments, Hokit noticed an apparent difference in her team's mindset this year. Though their open gym scheduled was delayed because of the coronavirus, her team returned with a mentality of “I get to play volleyball” instead of “I have to be here.”

The Maidens are captained by Abbie Ramsey who has been the team's motivator. Their also led by their defensive leader Melany Pizano – who is the team's Libero.

Frankston elected not to have a playoff warmup game, but has won six of their last seven games entering this match. Normangee is coming off of a straight set loss to Leon in their district finale.

Frankston is ranked 55th in MaxPreps 2A, while Normangee is spotted at 74th. Strength of schedule goes in favor of Normangee, +8.2 to -5.0.

Match start is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, at Elkhart High School. Winner will move on to play the winner of Evadale and Groveton in the area round.

Cayuga Ladycats (13-13) vs. Leon Lady Cougars (20-9)

FAIRFIELD – The Cayuga Ladycats are back in the playoffs after finishing third in District 21-2A. They're up against district 22-2A runner up Leon Lady Cougars.

Leon enters the bi-district round boasting a 10-game winning streak. They dropped one game during their district run, which was to first-place Iola.

The Ladycats have battled their fair share of adversity leading into playoffs. Their season was temporaliy suspended for two weeks in the midst of their district run and now they face 2019 2A state runner-up Leon in the first round of the playoffs.

Cayuga was able to get past the bi-district round last year with a sweep of Deweyville before falling in the area round against Iola.

That Cayuga team graduated three seniors and now place another young team under the playoff lights this year.

However, they'll be able to rely on the playoff experience of sophomore Claire Drinkard and senior Briley Shaw – who both played well during their playoff stint last year.

Cayuga is curerntly ranked 79th in MaxPreps 2A, while Leon sits as their 10th best 2A team. Strength of schedule also favor Leon, 5.8 to -3.2

This bi-district match is set for 6 p.m., Thursday, at Fairfield High School.

Editor's Note:

- The Neches Lady Tigers earned a bi-district round bye.

- The Oakwood Lady Panthers play High Island, Nov. 3, in the area round. 

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