Five area volleyball teams have advanced to the second round of the UIL state volleyball playoffs.
The area round will prove to be far tougher for many teams starting with play on Thursday night.
Here is a closer look at each game:
Foster vs. Friendswood
The reward for beating the No. 2 seed out of District 23-5A for Foster is facing the District 22-5A champion Friendswood.
The No. 15 ranked Lady Mustangs have lost only one game since early September and Friendswood beat Foster 2-0 in a tournament match in August.
Friendswood defeated Dayton 3-0 in the bi-district round.
This Thursday area match will take place in Sugar Land at 5 p.m. in Fort Bend ISD’s Wheeler Fieldhouse.
The Lady Mustangs offense runs through senior Tori Weatherley, who leads the team with 938 assists.
Senior Makensky Manbeck leads the team with 396 kills followed by junior Ashlyn Svoboda with 366 kills and junior Alessandra Meoni with 207 kills.
Manbeck at 6-foot-1 leads the team with 103 blocks.
Sophomore Sarah Sitton, also 6-foot-1 with 89 blocks.
Lamar Consolidated vs. Santa Fe
The Lady Mustangs enjoyed their first playoff win this decade and now face the No. 2 team from District 22-5A.
The Squaws defeated Port Neches-Groves 3-0 in the bi-district round.
Thursday’s area match will take place at 6 p.m. at Shadow Creek High School.
Santa Fe reached the regional quarterfinals last season before losing to Foster.
Both teams have played PN-G, Shadow Creek, Manvel and Angleton with both teams losing their games to Shadow Creek and Manvel.
Fulshear vs. Boerne
The Chargers are making their second straight trip to the area in their young program’s history.
Fulshear will face the District 28-4A runner-up Boerne on Friday at Schulenburg High School at 6 p.m.
The Lady Greyhounds were bounced out of the playoffs at the same spot last year by the District 25-4A top seed, Needville.
Boerne has played a tough schedule before starting district play, rounding into form before the playoffs.
Senior Jasmine Nelson is the No. 1 weapon for the Lady Greyhounds with 514 kills. She is averaging 3.9 kills per set and has nearly doubled her next teammate, senior Brianna Brock with 243 kills.
Nelson also leads the team in aces with 52 and digs with 584. Brock is second on the team with 484 digs.
Senior Corrie Kadric leads the Greyhounds with 111 blocks.
Freshman Madisyn Jones has stepped up to be the catalyst of the Boerne offense with 617 assists.
Both teams have played Harlan and Clemens, Boerne lost to both and Fulshear was able to beat Harlan.
East Bernard vs. Diboll
The East Bernard Brahmarettes have their work cut out for them on Thursday when they face the Diboll Lady Jacks at New Caney High School at 7 p.m.
The Region III-3A area contest will feature the 24-3A champion East Bernard against the No. 11 state-ranked and 21-3A runner up Diboll.
Diboll lost in the bi-district round last season to Orangefield, which lost to East Bernard in the regional quarterfinals.
Both teams have played Wortham, Robinson, Teague, Madisonville and Central Heights. East Bernard is 5-1 against those teams with the only loss coming against Central Heights.
Diboll is 1-4 with the only win coming against Robinson.
East Bernard has already won a tournament game against Diboll in August, 25-17, 25-17.
Brazos vs. Granger
For the second straight year, the Brazos Cougarettes have advanced to the area round in Class 2A.
The District 27-2A champion will face the District 25-2A runner up Thursday at Bryan High School at 7 p.m.
Granger defeated Snook in the bi-district round in five sets. Snook took out Brazos last season in the area round.
Junior Carsyn Locklin leads the Lady Lions with 378 kills followed by senior Audrey Messex with 231 kills and sophomore Macey Lopez with 211 kills.
Locklin also leads the team with 121 aces.
Senior Caitlyn Murrah captains the defense for Granger with 355 digs and 541 serve receptions.