Tourney time for the county

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As the first day of school approaches all of the local High School Volleyball teams are seeking to get as many games under their belts as possible. That means playing in Tournaments, where you can get in up to 4 games in 2 days. For most teams this gives them an opportunity to get their players playing time. All are involved in tournaments this past and next weekend.

The Franklin Lady Lions are living up to the pre-season hype behind their program. Ranked number 8 in the State, the Lady Lions are picking up where they left off last season in Volleyball. The loss in the Region finals still haunts the Lady Lions who feel, as I did, they stopped short of their ultimate goal of making the trip to the State Tournament. They are 5-2 on the year thus far and for a team that replaced 9 graduated seniors, they couldn’t have asked for a better start out of the gate. With the school year beginning, Coach Turner will be better able to better evaluate her young ladies. She will sift through the competition for starting slots as the Team plays out their pre-season schedule. The Lady Lions are again favored to go far in the State Playoffs in 2014. Franklin found themselves in a war with 4A Caldwell, and fell in a 4 set match to the Lady Hornets at the Leon Lady Cougar Tournament over the weekend. Leon and Caldwell are two of the top volleyball programs around and provided the Lady Lions some strong early competition. Coach Turner’s squad continues to play top rated teams as they prepare for District play and the State Playoffs. Playing high caliber competition only helps hone the skills of the Lady Lions. To continue that trend, the Lady Lions will travel to Iola for a 3-team match up with Iola and Milano on Tuesday. Both are State ranked programs. On Friday they host 4A power Caldwell at 5:30 p.m.

It was a slow start to this week for the Calvert lady Trojans, who stand at 1-1 after splitting games in the opening week. A win versus Somerville and a lost to Dime Box showed some strengths as well as uncovering some weaknesses in the Lady Trojans game. Ijionea Cephas, Keosha Eddington, Ashli Castilleja, Mykel Castlleja and Jaylonn Walker have all played well early. As injured, Tinece Williams works her way back into the rotation; the Lady Trojans should become a pretty competitive group by the time the District season rolls around. Coach Vogel knows she has her work cut out for her keeping the program respectable. She has help with the return of those six and senior Nakevia Drones. In a tough match Friday the Lady Trojans fell in straight sets to the Mumford Lady Mustangs. Although they showed signs early, in the end their youth was their demise. Although they didn’t win the match Coach Vogel was pleased with the progress the team is making. The Lady Trojans will entertain Richards on Tuesday and play in the Bremond Tournament on Thursday and Saturday, the 28th and 30th.

In Bremond the Lady Tigers are off to a running start toward becoming the strong program they expect to be in the sport of Volleyball. With 2013 returners Rhyniesscea Paul, Alyssa Bienski, Kayla Anderson and 4 other seniors, Coach Sarah Luce feels this could be a break out year for her girls. They will be one of the early favorites for the District Title, once the season begins. She feels they are quite capable of performing at that level. So far in her early scrimmages and games she has seen some positive results from all the hard work the young ladies have put in over the summer. She feels they will be a difficult opponent for any of the teams they will face this year. The Lady Tigers lost a great 5 set match to the Snook Lady Blue Jays on Friday and dropped a 3 set match to Navasota at the Hempstead Tournament. Bremond had opportunities to finish off the Lady Rattlers after winning game 1, but could not take advantage and went on to lose the 3 game set 2-1. The Lady Tigers scored 20 plus points in 3 of the 4 sets against Snook, winning the 3rd set 28-26 after dropping the first two 25-21 each. The Lady Tigers continue to show they will be a team to watch when district play starts. Veterans Rhynessicea Paul and Alyssa Bienski both played well and received good support from their teammates. The Lady Tigers travel to Coolidge on Tuesday and then host the Lady Tiger Classic in Bremond on Thursday and Saturday.

Mumford’s Lady Mustangs looked strong in a Friday evening match with the Calvert Lady Trojans. They used a patient offense and a stingy defense that kept Calvert off balance most of the evening. Recognizing the youth on the team, the Lady Mustangs took advantage and disposed of Calvert in three sets to win the match. Led by Abbie Eckenrode and Emily Scarmado the Lady Mustangs utilized their volleyball skills to prevail. The Lady Mustangs will play again on Tuesday against Brazos Christian on the road. The win moved the Lady Mustangs record to 3-1 on the season. Mumford hopes to maintain the momentum they gained in the two game winning streak. They have some veteran talent and should be a force in the district later on.

Coach Montgomery had the Hearne Lady Eagles busy over the weekend. They found themselves home against the ladies from Aggieland Homeschool in a rematch. The Lady Eagles dropped a hard fought 5 set match to Aggieland Homeschool early in the volleyball season so her team was looking forward to the rematch to extract some revenge. The Lady Eagles have shown steady improvement as the season has progressed. Coach Montgomery can see the changes already in their approach to practices and to playing the games. She feels this will all pay off moving forward into the season. The results have been positive thus far, so expect the Lady Eagles to continue to improve. The Lady Eagles take their show on the road this week with games Tuesday in Burton and Friday in Buffalo. All games will feature a Junior Varsity game followed by the Varsity contest.

Michael Cotton | Robertson County News

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