MANSFIELD — The Burleson Centennial Lady Spartans recorded their first playoff win since 2015 with a sweep of Fort Worth Arlington Heights on Tuesday.
The No. 4 seed Lady Spartans beat the District 6-5A champion Lady Jackets, 25-16, 25-12 and 25-22, to advance to the Class 5A Region I area playoffs, where Centennial will face Boswell.
Centennial’s previous playoff victory was a bi-district win over Fort Worth Western Hills in the 2015 postseason. The Lady Spartans missed the playoffs last season and lost in bi-district in 2016 and 2017.
Centennial head coach Julie Williams said she’s proud to see her team’s hard work pay off in not only a playoff berth, but a playoff win.
“This was a huge win for us,” Williams said. “The girls have worked so hard this season and are truly deserving of this playoff win. They won four of the last five matches in district to put themselves into the playoffs. Their hard work and determination are paying off for them and I am so proud of what they have accomplished.
Williams said playing through a tough District 5-5A helped prepare her Lady Spartans (19-23) to take care of business against Arlington Heights, which hadn’t lost a match since Sept. 3 after going undefeated in District 6-5A play.
“I feel like having to come out and be on your A game in district night in and night out helped us be able to put Heights away in three,” she said. “Our district is tough. It’s a battle every time you step on the court and that has helped prepare us for the teams we may face in the playoffs.”
The Lady Spartans featured a balanced attack against Arlington Heights; Anissa Zaragoza had seven kills and Bella Russell added six kills while Savoria Anderson and Haley Hock each had five kills. Annie Johnson had six aces and four kills. And Haley Hunnicutt led the defense with 32 digs.
Up next for Centennial is an area-round matchup against Boswell (31-14). The Lady Spartans have never advanced beyond the area round of the UIL volleyball playoffs.
“Boswell is a really good team,” Williams said. “In order to beat them we are going to have to limit our errors and make them earn every point. We need to stay aggressive on offense and be scrappy on defense. If we can play with energy, limit our errors and stay aggressive we will put ourselves in a position to win.”
Boswell swept Lake Dallas, 25-9, 25-16 and 25-19, in bi-district. Area round details for Centennial vs. Boswell were not immediately set.
After Burleson High’s sweep of Fort Worth Eastern Hills on Monday, the Lady Elks will face Birdville in a Class 5A Region I area playoff battle at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Cleburne.
If Burleson and Burleson Centennial each win their area playoff matches, the Lady Elks and Lady Spartans will meet in regional quarterfinals.