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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 28, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Friday, October 28, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A 26-5A battle royale    IS    SV, Churchill play for second Smithson Valley hosts SA Madison in tussle    Rangers, Chargers play rubber game to for the district football championship.    U    decide second-place volleyball spot in 26-5A. Time: 7:30 p.rn. (KNBT-FM 92.1J    Time: 6 p.m. HE DAILY r-IC-K-E.T Comal County clincher? NB win at Dripping Springs can put Unicorns, Cougars in state playoffs. Time: 7:30 p.m. (KGNB-AM1420) Herald-Zeitung To have your sports event publicized, contact Will Wright at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mail at [email protected] Unicorns going for regional ring Photo submitted The New Braunfels tennis team is deep and talented heading into today's Class 4A-Region IV meet.The Unicorns, seeded second, are seeking their first regional title since 1989. By Will Wright Sports Editor SAN ANTONIO—The New Braunfels tennis team is deeper, more talented and hungry going into today’s Class 4A-Region IV meet. Now, it hopes all those attributes return the school to the state meet for the first time since 1989. In the past few years, the Unicorns have been the bridesmaids of sorts in regional competition. They usually win their district, only to bow to Boerne or Alamo Heights a few steps short of making state. That’s what they’re hoping to change during this two-day meet. “The last two years we’ve played them close," New Braunfels’ 24th-year head coach David Mueller said of the Greyhounds and Mules. “Hopefully, this year will be different. “Out team is better than it’s been. Right now, it’s hard not to look ahead. I don’t know who we’re playing in the first round, but hopefully we’ll get that opportunity to play Heights again.” Four teams are ranked in the state’s top IO by the Texas Tennis coaches Association. Heights, the regional host, is rated fourth; New Braunfels fifth, Corpus Christi Flour Bluff sixth and Boerne ninth. Those teams, in order, are the top four regional seeds that were announced late Thursday. Heights and Boerne finished 1-2 in District 28-4A, meaning they will compete on different sides of the bracket. New Braunfels defeated the Greyhounds 10-8 last year before bowing to I Ieights, 10-5, in the final. New Braunfels returns top players in sophomore Ashley Turpin and senior RJ. Hendrie, both of whom finished as silver medalists at last spring’s UIL state meet. “We have a stronger team this year because all of the players are highly ranked," said Turpin of the Unicorns’ depth, as gauged by the USTA junior ratings. “All of us compete in extra tournaments all the time outside of school.” Turpin and I lendrie each play in No. I singles and doubles slots, but New Braunfels’ strength isn t only skin deep. It ranges throughout the lineup in both genders, down to No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. “That’s the key, to be stronger in the 4-5-6 matches,” Mueller said. “The key matches are those positions, which determine (the outcome) because they’re the last ones to go on.” Alamo I Ieights Tennis Center will headquarter the proceedings, which will also stage matches at McFarlin See TENNIS, Page 7A NB, Canyon teams place at 27-4A long distance meet By Will Wright Sports Editor BURNET — New Braunfels boys and girls teams and Canyon’s boys team all placed within the top three squads at 'Thursdays District 27-4A cross country meet and will advance to next week’s Region IV meet. Both New Braunfels teams finished second, and Canyon’s stevi boys came Armstrong in third during the event. New Braunfels had two boys finish in the top 15, while the Unicorns girls — led by silver winner Stevi Armstrong — had seven receive medals. Burnet’s boys won with 27 points, with New Braunfels finishing with 89 and Canyon in third with 99. Dripping Springs’ girls narrowly outpointed New See MEET, Page 7A Canyon downs Medina Valley Third-ranked Vista Ridge is next for Cougarettes MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung Canyon's Laura Wells (15) and Danielle Mittelstadt go high to make a block against Medina Valley's Amanda Hilbig (17)Thursday night during the Cougarettes' three-game victory over the Panthers in the teams' Class 4A bidistrict playoff. By Will Wright Sports Editor SAN AN TONIO — Canyon was all business Thursday night in its Class 4A bidistrict volleyball playoff against Medina Valley. The Cougarettes were sharp, focused and executed with precision in staging a 25-17,25-11,25-7 victory at the Alamo Convocation Center. “We played well, I thought. The girls were ready, cmd they were excited,” Canyon coach I leather Sanders said following the victory that took only 58 minutes to complete. “Their playoff shirts say “Go Time!" and it was.” Canyon, ranked eighth in the state, advances to play third-ranked District 26-4A champion Cedar Park Vista Ridge (32-1) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Marble Falls. Medina Valley, the District 28-4A third-place team, never led at any point in any game. The Panthers (20-16) pinned their hopes on outside hitter Kaci Brewer, who came in averaging 4.37 kills per game but finished with nine in Thursday’s match. “We thought Kaci wasn’t really a factor,” Sanders said. “She got a couple of kills, but they had very few opportunities to get the ball to her. So we did what we had to do.” The 27-4A co-champion Cougarettes (28-10) had clinching runs in each game. They rattled off a 9-0 run in the first, had a 10-2 run in the second and added a 10-0 skein in the third. Canyon’s strategy was to capitalize with dinks and off-speed spikes into Medina Valley’s middle, scoring almost with ease. “We came in a little too keyed up, and that affected our execution,” Panthers coach Darcy Presley said. “Canyon had excellent ball control. They passed well and were a very solid team. They played better, and they were the better team tonight." Medina Valley had three ties and managed only three three-point runs during the match. The Panthers consistently erred at the net and on serve, which thwarted any offensive continuity. Canyon, on the other hand, finished with IO aces. Three in a row by Courtney Bird gave the Cougarettes a 9-2 advantage in the third and they never looked back. “We really served well tonight," Sanders said. Kirby Krueger had four aces and 23 assists; Brandie DeBacker had eight kills and Chelsea Zunker added seven. Kelly Rotzler had five digs, with Nikki Kruse and Lacey Shedrock adding four each. Lexie Bennett, Tara Smith and Danielle Mittelstadt had 1.5 blocks each. For the Panthers, Renae See VOLLEY, Page 7A NEW BRAUNFELS (36) AT DRIPPING SPWNGS (5-3) 7:30 pm Tiger Stadium Radio: KGNB-AM 1420,7:05 pm. rickets: $6 adults, $3 students at gate Getting there: Take 306 west to Purgatory Road. Take a right on Purgatory and continue to FM 32 Take a right onto FM 32 and proceed to BR 12. Take a left onto RR 12 and proceed to US 290. Take a left Take another left onto Tiger Lane and the stadium Last year: New Braunfels 52, Dripping Springs 0 THE UNICORNS District 27-4A record: 2-1 Coach: Chuck Camford (3-5 at New Braunfels; 10-28 in his fourth sea son avera*) Last week: New Braunfels 49, Burnet 22 Offense: Multiple Defense: Multiple Top players: OB Zach Rhodes; WR-DB Kurts Kostan, DB Levi Blakeman; RB Jeremy Etten THE TIGERS District 27-4A record: 2-1 Coach: Howard Ballard (52-51 in his 10th season at Draping Springs and overall) Last week: Canyon 38, Dnppng Springs 7 Offense: Multiple I Defense: Stack Top players: OB Jordan Moore, OB Travis Mosty, RB Wes Jackson GAME OUTLOOK New Braunfels: The Umooms have won three of their last lour games and can clinch a playoff berth with a victory tonight They are averaging 350 yards on offense and surrendering 315.5 on defense Rhodes has 2,304 rushmg-passmg yards and has accounted tor 22 touchdowns Kostan had caught 47 passes far 887 yards and 10 scores Dripping Springs: After starting district 2-0, the Tigers need the one to stay in playoff contention Last week, they failed to show against Canyon, vrtnch raced out to a 14-0 lead and never looked back. Jackson has 912 yards and 14 TDS rusting QBs Moore end Mosty have combined tor 1,344 yards and 13 scores passing. The Tigers are a\reragng 350.6 yards on offense, but are yielding 324.1 yards on defense — a figure that ballooned after they allowed Calyon more then 400 yards rushing. NB can lock up playoff berth at Dripping Springs “Dripping Springs has some playoff chances of their own, so I think you’re going to see two very hungry teams,” Caniford said. “I think they have a good football team. They have a lot of speed and a defense that’s fast. They have a good running back (Wes Jackson), two quarterbacks who throw fairly well ( Travis Mosty and Iordan Moore) and size at certain positions. It’s going to be a tough game.” The Tigers operate out of the I-fonnation on offense, which shifts into a spread at times. 'Hie defense, the same kind of 33 stack or 50 alignment the Unicorns saw last week against Burnet, is unpredictable. Caniford said in Dripping Springs’ 38-7 loss to Canyon last week, Mosty ran most of the Tigers plays. The defense didn’t blitz, though it may choose to do so See UNICORNS, Page 6A By Will Wright Sports Editor DRIPPING SPRINGS—Tonight, the Canyon Cougars — of all folks — will be rooting for the New Braunfels Unicorns. That’s not a misprint. A win by the Unicorns (3-5 overall; 2-1 in District 27-4A) over the Tigers (5-3,2-1) will put both Comal County teams into the state playoffs. And it will come without the headache and heartache of a winner-take-all situation in next week’s Wurst Bowl. Unicorns coach Chuck Caniford, however, wants his team to win because it’s a win that’ll get them in. “It’s the biggest game of the year because a win puts us into the playoffs,” he said. “But it’s an opportunity for us to realize one of our goals since the beginning of the season, which is to make the playoffs.” Dripping Springs began 27-4A play 2-0 after wins over Burnet and Marble Falls, teams that are now MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels players take a water break during the waning seconds in the first half of the Unicorns' 49-22 victory over Burnet. New Braunfels goes for a playoff spot tonight at Dripping Springs. eliminated from contention. It did-    Because the Tigers end the season n’t look like much in a 38-7 loss at    at unbeaten Lake Travis, tonight home to Canyon last week. But it    will likely be their only shot at the will have the burners on tonight,    postseason. ;