Cedar Park lost just one match all weekend and still couldn't break into the upper echelon of one of the biggest volleyball tournaments in the state this weekend.
The Lady Timberwolves finished with a 7-1 record at Leander ISD Volleypalooza last weekend, the best record of any area team, but still came in 35th place overall thanks to a three-way tie on the opening day of pool play.
"It was a really big heartbreaker," Cedar Park head coach Rachel Altman said. "We learned a tough lesson that you can't start slow on day one because we wound up getting third after they had some of the best matches they've had all year."
Round Rock finished 15th with a 5-3 record, dropping its first two games in the silver bracket and Westwood finished in 23rd with a 4-4 record and lost two straight in the bronze bracket on Saturday.
Vandegrift finished 4-4 on the weekend, good for 29th, Rouse took home 34th with a 2-6 record and Vista Ridge came in 55th place, winning three of their eight matches. Stony Point (2-6), Leander (1-7), McNeil (3-5) and Glenn (0-8) couldn't break into the top 56.
The Lady Timberwolves have a smaller varsity squad with only 11 girls, so Altman said she utilized everyone over the three-day tournament. She said one girl was pulled up from JV on Saturday due to a couple players going to the SAT on Saturday.
But that didn't hamper the results as Cedar Park beat Cibolo Steele 2-1 (25-14, 26-28, 25-23) and Bryan 2-0 (25-22, 25-20) in the Flight 2A Bracket.
"The response on Friday and Saturday was exactly what I've been asking them to do for weeks now," Altman said. "Overall, we're looking at the tournament as a positive because we really got better at a lot of mental and physical aspects of the game."
Altman said the team is asking a lot out of middle blockers Shelby Epley and Jaelyn Grimm and feature two sophomores on the outside that are looking to grow and get better during their first year on the varsity squad.
In a district with new foes like Glenn, Weiss, Pflugerville and Marble Falls, the goal for the Lady Timberwolves is to finish the second half of district play better than they did last season.
They wrap up non-district play at Georgetown Friday at 5:30 p.m. and open District 17-5A play at Glenn on next Friday, Sept. 7 at Glenn at 5:30 p.m.
"I think these girls should do really well in district," Altman said. "They're getting better week by week and our main goal is to finish a lot stronger. We're really trying to maintain and not take steps back."