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ET Volleyball: 2017 season preview

Aug. 5, 2017 at 9:23 p.m.

Longview head coach Chaka Jackson runs a drill during  practice on Tuesday.


Mascot: Lady Lobos

Coach: Chaka Jackson (162-110)

District: 11-6A (Tyler Lee, John Tyler, Rockwall Heath, Rockwall, Mesquite, North Mesquite, Mesquite Horn

2016 record: 27-14

Top returning players: Kennedy Eynon (375 assists, 35 aces, 265 digs, 173 kills) ... Taylor Hendrix

Newcomers to watch: Destiny McAfee ... Malaika Pencheon

You can count on: "Team chemistry and hard work." — Jackson

Needs work: "We need to gain more experience at the varsity level." — Jackson

Did you know: Eynon dished out 727 assists in 2015 ... Longview has won 64 games the past two seasons.


Mascot: Lady Pirates

Coach: Carolee Musick (700-186)

District: 16-5A (Hallsville, Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs, Marshall, Texas High, Greenville)

Top returning players: Harper Finley ... Emily Jones ... Sarah Moore ... Natalie Collins ... Maizie Hart ... Jordan Fuller ... Haley Morgan ... Blair Shelton

2016 record: 22-15

Newcomers to watch: Riley Stanley ... Sam Sommerfeld ... Charley Ober

You can count on: "We have eight returning players to our team. I feel they will know their jobs and work as a team at a high level. I believe in their potential to be leaders and stay strong as a team." — Musick

Needs work: "We have eight returning players, but we lost seven talented players so gaining confidence in themselves and in each other will be the key. If they do that, we could be a very good team. The ball is in our court." — Musick

Did you know: Four of Pine Tree's eight seniors have been on the varsity since their sophomore years ... Musick is 93-60 as a head coach at Pine Tree. Before coming to Pine Tree, Musick carved out a 564-119 record at White Oak, where she led the Ladynecks to a Class 2A state championship in 2010


Mascot: Ladycats

Coach: Cara Collum (67-15)

District: 16-5A (Pine Tree, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs, Texas High, Greenville)

2016 record: 28-10

Top returning players: Addison McDermott (150 kills, 47 blocks, 34 aces) ... Alexis Simmons (221 digs, 29 aces) ... Alia Horaney (31 blocks) ... Jessica Buderus

Newcomers to watch: Ashley Jones

You can count on: "Defensive play. We have several players who can really make some amazing plays on defense and keep the ball in play for us." — Collum

Needs work: "Offensive system. After graduating seven seniors, we will have a lot of new personnel and will need to creat some consistency and chemistry within the group." — Collum

Did you know: The Ladycats finished 11-1 and captured a district title last season, defeating Wylie East in the opening round of the playoffs and falling to Frisco Reedy in area play ... Hallsville's first scrimmage this season was against Ruston High School, which is coached by former Hallsville volleyball player Mandy Cauley (Arnold)


Mascot: Lady Mavericks

Coach: Kayla Green

District: 16-5A (Pine Tree, Hallsville, Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs, Greenville, Texas High)

Top returning players: Kiari Johnson ... Gabby Moore ... Ry'An Sharpless

Newcomers to watch: Katelynn Jones ... Elizabeth Palmer

You can count on: "The girls have really bought into our philosophy of work hard and competing in practice. The energy has been high." — Green

Needs work: "We are really goiong to focus on trying to speed up our offense." — Green

Did you know: The Lady Mavericks were winless (0-14) in league play a year ago


Mascot: Lady Tigers

Coach: Jeremy Stewart (213-191)

District: 16-5A (Pine Tree, Hallsville, Marshall, Sulphur Springs, Texas High, Greenville)

2016 record: 19-19

Top returning players: Shelbi Haupt (280 kills, 32 blocks) ... Alexia Nance (124 kills, 84 blocks) ... Keily Castanon (386 digs, 44 aces)

Newcomers to watch: Averie Ayers

Did you know: Stewart has an 80-75 record at Mount Pleasant


Mascot: Lady Panthers

Coach: Dawn Stewart (207-96)

District: 15-4A (Gilmer, Kilgore, Gladewater, Chapel Hill, Bullard)

2016 record: 18-18

Top returning players: Hannah Methvin ... Kaelyn Elliott ... Kristen Stewart

Newcomers to watch: Karlie Smith

You can count on: "We will work hard and play as a team." — Stewart

Needs work: "We are young (one senior and one junior) and will have to overcome fear and realize that regardless of age, we belong on any court with anyone." — Stewart

Did you know: Spring Hill has been to the playoffs 17 consecutive seasons


Mascot: Lady Buckeyes

Coach: Kiara Jordan

District: 15-4A (Spring Hill, Gladewater, Kilgore, Bullard, Chapel Hill)

2016 record: 32-9

Top returning players: Allie Fennell (.281 hitting percentage, 40 blocks, .473 setting efficiency) ... Maddie Vestal (279 digs) ... Deyton Edwards (82 digs, 28 aces, .415 setting efficiency)

Newcomers to watch: Aaleya "Lele" Morton ... Haylee Jordan ... Meredith Morrison

You can count on: "Good defense and a balanced attack from our team. These young ladies have been in the weightroom and at open gym religiously this summer, so they will no doubt be in great shape. We just have to sharpen our skills." — Jordan

Needs work: "We are working to be a better mentally tough team. Our team is a little younger this year with only three seniors on the roster, so I will be expecting a lot out of my freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Once we develop that mental game and learn quickly how to shake off mistakes, we will be sound in every aspect of our game, regardless of how our skill matches up to our opponents." — Jordan

Did you know: Fennell recently ran for Yamboree Queen in Gilmer. She is a Lady-In-waiting and will participate in the annual Yamboree pageant in October ... Jordan is a graduate of Gilmer High School


Mascot: Lady Bulldogs

Coach: Lacy Coldiron (23-36)

District: 15-4A (Spring Hill, Gilmer, Gladewater, Bullard, Chapel Hill)

2016 record: 11-22

Top returning players: Tianna Holland (107 kills, 113 blocks) ... Lauren Bryant (103 kills, 35 aces, 184 digs) ... Jamaria Thomas (87 kills, 35 aces, 54 blocks)

Newcomers to watch: Jada Abercrombie

You can count on: "We don't give up. No matter what the situation, ourgirls are going to still give it all they have." — Coldiron

Needs work: "We really need to work on our confidence. Last year we were extremely young and had a rough season. I want these girls to begin to believe in themselves the way that I believe in them. Once they do, amazing things will start to happen." — Coldiron

Did you know: Kathy Mehringer, who led Kilgore to the state tournament in 1988 and was a part of the program until last season, retired at the end of the 2017 school year


Mascot: Lady Bears

Coach: Karlie McQueen

District: 15-4A (Spring Hill, Kilgore, Gilmer, Bullard, Chapel Hill)

Top returning players: Annie Oliver

You can count on: "We have seven returning players, so lots of experience." — McQueen

Needs work: "We need to get better communicating with each other." — McQueen

Did you know: Senior Maleah Dobbins will join the Army following graduation


Mascot: Lady Bulldogs

Coach: Leven Barker (520-214)

District: 16-4A (Tatum, Henderson, Rusk, Center)

2016 record: 35-6

Top returning players: Mattie Doffitt ... Carson Robertson ... Courtney Edge

Newcomers to watch: DeDe Pope ... Lexi Alexander ... Kim Worsham ... Laney Harkrider ... Emily Pyle

You can count on: "Setting and defense. We have all three of our setters back, so we feel very strong about them, and our defensive specialists have a lot of varsity experience." — Barker

Needs work: "Offense. Outside of Doffitt and Pope, our hitters don't have much varsity experience. The talent is there, and hopefully playing a tough preseason schedule will get us up to speed." — Barker

Did you know: Carthage's only loss to a 4A team last season came to Argyle in the regional finals ... Barker has won at least 100 games at three schools (197-91 at Mexia and 147-50 at Pine Tree), and he also won 70 games at Crockett ... Doffitt has given a verbal pledge to play volleyball at Mary Hardin-Baylor ... Robertson will play softball at UT-Tyler ... Carthage is ranked No. 8 in Class 4A in the preseason poll by the Texas Girls Coaches Association


Mascot: Lady Eagles

Coach: She-Ron DeLoach (426-250)

District: 16-4A (Carthage, Henderson, Rusk, Center)

2016 record: 23-14

Top returning players: Madison Fite (213 kills, 283 digs, 27 blocks, 38 aces) ... Ashton Brown (298 kills, 202 digs, 91 assists, 141 blocks, 39 aces) ... Essence Allen (214 kills, 358 digs, 152 assists, 75 blocks, 56 aces)

You can count on: "The team will pull together and play as one unit. They have some good chemistry, and it should take us to the next level." — DeLoach

Needs work: "Defense. We are not very big, but we are very fast and athletic so we will have to take advantage of our athleticism." — DeLoach

Did you know: Allen was the Longview News-Journal's All-East Texas Newcomer of the Year in volleyballl last season


Mascot: Lady Lions

Coach: Archie Thompson

District: 16-4A (Carthage, Tatum, Rusk, Center)

Top returning players: Kassi Freeman

Newcomers to watch: Resha Hall ... Audaijah Oliver ... Cassie Hernandez ... Ava Rockey ... Jaclyn Garrett

You can count on: "Defense. We have quick passers who can read the ball very well." — Thompson

Needs work: "Our inexperience is a major concern with very few girls having seen varsity action. Our success will depend on how well we adjust to the speed of varsity action." — Thompson

Did you know: Henderson will play its home games in a newly renovated gymnasium.


Mascot: Lady Pirates

Coach: Lori Shaw

District: 14-4A (Paris, North Lamar, Pleasant Grove, Atlanta, Liberty-Eylau

2016 record: 15-21

Top returning players: Taylor Bullock ... Sydney Waldrep ... Dae'jah Heath ... Malaysia Burns ... Marlisha Swain ... Makayla Thomas ... Madison Sansom

Newcomers to watch: Kayle Campos

You can count on: "Our athleticism will be an asset. Since the majority of the team is returning, we know what it feels like to make the playoffs and we want to build on that." — Shaw

Needs work: "The past two years, we've talked about inexperience. We cannot use that as an excuse. We lost a couple of key leaders to graduation, and it is crucial that we have leaders step up for this team to be successful." — Shaw

Did you know: Pittsburg advanced to the playoffs last season for the first time in 15 years, losing to Rains in bi-district play ... Sansom has given a verbal pledge to play softball at Lyon College


Mascot: Ladynecks

Coach: Nicole Thorn (241-84

District: 16-3A (Beckville, New Diana, Jefferson, Waskom, Elysian Fields, Ore City)

2016 record: 32-9

Top returning players: Kyla Weeks ... Brooklyn Noll ... Madison Sigmon ... Kinsey Smith

Newcomers to watch: Allison Patak ... Lisa Potichko

You can count on: "Our team will play hard each time we step on the court and focus on one match at a time." — Thorn

Needs work: "We did some great things at camp, but each area can always improve. Overall, it's a great start going into preseason." — Thorn

Did you know: Thorn is 135-34 at White Oak ... The Ladynecks advanced to the regional semifinals last season, losing to Callisburg in five sets ... Noll has recorded more than 1,000 digs the past two seasons (666 in 2016 and 458 in 2015)


Mascot: Ladycats

Coach: Cherry Downs (160-35)

District: 16-3A (White Oak, New Diana, Elysian Fields, Jefferson, Ore City, Waskom)

2016 record: 36-3

Top returning players: Riley Seegers (335 kills, 293 digs, 59 blocks, 43 aces) ... Hannah Humphries (236 kills, 143 digs, 18 blocks) ... Kinley Pepper (1,316 assists, 295 digs, 66 aces, 33 kills) ... Payton Jones (520 digs, 226 kills, 51 aces) ... Courtlyn Nail (318 digs)

You can count on: "We have a tradition of success. Each season we work to exceed the expectations and outcome of the previous season. This group of Ladycats put in countless hours to improve their skill level. I have been coaching for 13 years and have never coached a harder working group." — Downs

Needs work: "We will work on replacing senior Kinley Blair (graduated). She was a large part of our team, offensively and defensively. We will work to build new leadership on the court among the eight returning players. We know what needed to improve after our season-ending match in November and will work to get that done every time we step in the gym." — Downs

Did you know: Beckville has advanced to the regional tournament in each of the past five seasons ... Seegers participated in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Volleyball All-Star Game in Austin in July ... Beckville is ranked No. 9 in Class 3A in the preseason poll by the TGCA


Mascot: Lady Eagles

Coach: Andrew Harbison (127-96)

District: District 16-3A (Beckville, White Oak, Elysian Fields, Ore City, Jefferson, Waskom)

2016 record: 24-17

Top returning players: Lauren James ... Ali Leslie ... Katelyn Easley

Newcomers to watch: Krista Russell ... Gabi Moore

You can count on: "High-powered offense and having a team who will always be in the game." — Harbison

Needs work: "No making errors." — Harbison

Did you know: The New Diana volleyball team does a variety of service projects throughout the season, including founding an organization called "Athletes Who Care." The group gives backpacks to children in the Foster Care system ... Harbison has a record of 107-56 at New Diana


Mascot: Yellow Jackets

Coach: Macy Cherry

District: 16-3A (White Oak, Beckville, Jefferson, New Diana, Ore City, Waskom)

2016 record: 26-9

Top returning players: Alex Paulk ... Faith Harris ... Frankasia Boyd ... Sammy Spears ... Shayla Mathews ... Kayla Evans

Newcomers to watch: Tucker Ellis ... Nikayla Tatum ... Annabelle Ellis ... Reese Griffin ... Sabra Griffin

You can count on: "Hard-working, positive team with some big hitters. They will fight to the finish." — Cherry

Needs work: "On-court communication and passing." — Cherry

Did you know: Elysian Fields advanced to the second round of the playoffs in 2016, defeating Winona in bi-district play and falling to Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill in the area round


Mascot: Rebels

Coach: Carrie Plasterer (28-10)

District: 16-3A (White Oak, Beckville, New Diana, Elysian Fields, Waskom, Jefferson)

2016 record: 28-10

Top returning players: Tori Pena (275 digs, 91 aces) ... Hannah Pendarvis (89 kills, 38 blocks) ... Andi Freeman (125 kills, 30 blocks) ... Madison Plasterer (80 aces, 101 digs) ... Brandee Gabaldon (108 kills, 24 blocks)

Newcomers to watch: Jade Draper ... Keri Dean ... Ally Sewell ... Landri Ross

You can count on: "We have very good team chemistry and we work really well together." — Plasterer

Needs work: "Communication and serve receive could always use extra work." — Plasterer

Did you know: Ore City's roster will include no seniors this season


Mascot: Lady Bulldogs

Coach: Marshall Earnhart (33-9)

District: 16-3A (White Oak, Beckville, New Diana, Elysian Fields, Waskom, Ore City)

2016 record: 3-22

Top returning players: Ky'Marria Warren ... Elaina Langbartels ... Tierra Hines ... Jamya Smith

Newcomers to watch: Deivya Hodge

You can count on: "Bringing a lot of energy and a never quit attitude." — Earnhart

Needs work: "Fundamentals of the game and transitioning." — Earnhart

Did you know: Jefferson's volleyball coaches have a combined 43 years coaching experience


Mascot: Lady Cardinals

Coach: Kristen Reaves (252-208)

District: 15-3A (Arp, Troup, West Rusk, Harmony, Winona, Cumberland Academy)

2016 record: 13-24

Top returning players: Brookelyn Gray ... Kristen Stuart ... Sam Bell ... Sarah Davis

Newcomers to watch: Sierrah Richter ... Mikinzi Cantrell

You can count on: "A fired up team ready to play hard every game. Hitting and blocking should be a strong area for us this season." — Reaves

Needs work: "Communication as a whole team." — Reaves

Did you know: Six of Sabine's 13 wins came in district play last season


Mascot: Lady Eagles

Coach: Dena Martin

District: 15-3A (Arp, Sabine, Cumberland Academy, West Rusk, Troup, Winona)

Top returning players: Elizabeth Spencer ... Katie Grace Seahorn ... Kalie Byrd ... Ashley Phillips

Newcomers to watch: Kinzee Settles

You can count on: "The Lady Eagles will rise to our tough challenges this year." — Martin

Needs work: "New team this year. Lots of new players that need to mesh." — Martin

Did you know: Martin is a Harmony High School graduate


Mascot: Lady Raiders

Coach: Melissa Neal

District: 15-3A (Harmony, Sabine, Arp, Winona, Cumberland Academy, Troup)

2016 record: 12-24

Top returning players: Hannah Trichell (65 kills) ... Kayla Lewis (45 kills, 184 assists) ... Abigail Rodriguez (102 digs) ... Allison Bobbitt (35 aces, 81 digs) ... Brooklyn Floyd (139 kills, 52 digs) ... Sydnee Martin (71 kills, 86 aces, 80 digs) ... Brey Ruiz (55 aces, 149 digs, 124 assists)

Newcomers to watch: Chloe Tidwell ... Alex Lewis ... Natalie Furrow ... Chasity Austin

You can count on: "We never give up. They work extremely hard." — Neal

Needs work: "We are very young, so learning each other and the game of volleyball." — Neal


Mascot: Lady Tigers

Coach: Arden Johnson

District: 15-3A (Harmony, West Rusk, Arp, Winona, Sabine, Cumberland Academy)

2016 record: 22-14

Top returning players: Jansen Reid ... Natalie Davenport ... Kori Minnix ... Savanna Cox ... Asia Parker

You can count on: "We are returning nine out of 10 players from last year." — Johnson

Did you know: Troup fell in the opening round of the playoffs to White Oak last season


Mascot: Lady Mustangs

Coach: Tisha Thompson (21-14)

District: 14-3A (Daingerfield, DeKalb, Hooks, New Boston, Paul Pewitt, Queen City, Redwater)

2016 record: 21-14

Top returning players: Zoe Lanier (158 kills, 83 blocks) ... Kensley Echols (153 kills, 245 assists, 45 aces) ... Cypress Wright (134 kills, 38 blocks) ... Peyton Blythe (128 kills, 59 aces, 295 assists, 91 digs) ... Kennedi Northam (272 digs) ... Charlie Reeves (117 digs, 29 aces) ... Pearl Perry (67 kills, 31 blocks) ... Haylee Wilson (62 kills, 14 blocks)

Newcomers to watch: Braylee Taylor ... Aliyah Crowder

You can count on: "Cohesiveness. This group has been playing volleyball and most all other sports since they were little. They gained a lot of confidence playing together for the last two seasons, and I'm excited to see them put it all together on the court this year." — Thompson

Needs work: "One of our downfalls in the past has been not having the killer instinct to finish teams when we had them down. Another area we need to clean up is unforced errors." — Thompson

Did you know: Thompson guided the Lady Mustangs to a berth in the UIL State Tournament in softball in the spring and was named Coach of the Year on the Longview News-Journal's All-East Texas Softball Team ... Blythe, the All-ET Softball Player of the Year, has given a verbal pledge to Texas Tech, and Wilson has given a softball verbal to Arkansas-Monticello


Mascot: Lady Tigers

Coach: D.J. Dunn

District: 14-3A (Hughes Springs, DeKalb, Hooks, New Boston, Paul Pewitt, Queen City, Redwater)

Top returning players: Bre Walker ... Destiny Hurndon

Newcomers to watch: Kiara Robinson ... Trinity Blyth ... Lemerica Alexander

You can count on: "Athleticism. We are a very athletic group of girls. We will be able to hit and block well." — Dunn

Needs work: "Getting used to playing with each other. We have a lot of new faces on the team." — Dunn


Mascot: Lady Bears

Coach: Kaci Price

District: 14-3A (Daingerfield, Hooks, Hughes Springs, New Boston, Paul Pewitt, Queen City, Redwater)

Top returning players: Bailey Blackstone ... Hailey Dalby ... Kassidy Barrett ... Kynli Holder ... Carrie Almond

Newcomers to watch: Tiara Moreland ... Hope Murphy

You can count on: "The girls have good communication skills and are able to depend on each other to get the job done." — Price

Needs work: "Overall, fundamentally, we can become a better team." — Price

Did you know: Price is in her second year as a coach, and first as a head coach ... Dekalb's roster has no freshmen, two seniors, five juniors and four sophomores


Mascot: Lady Lions

Coach: Haylee Houston

District: 14-3A (Daingerfield, Hooks, Hughes Springs, New Boston, Paul Pewitt, Queen City, Redwater, DeKalb)

2016 record: 38-8

Top returning players: McKenzee Thomas ... Morgan Alexander ... Hannah Ratcliff ... Grace Duffer ... Carlee Ratclifff

Newcomers to watch: Carleigh Reeves ... Chloe Davis ... Aariana Johnson

You can count on: "The athleticism of this year's team." — Houston

Needs work: "I graduated a veteran team with big shoes to fill. I have confidence in my team this year." — Houston

Did you know: New Boston finished 13-1 in district play a year ago, advancing to the regional quarterfinal round of the playoffs


Mascot: Lady Lions

Coach: Rickey Hammontree (404-288)

District: 20-2A (Overton, Carlisle, Gary, San Augustine, Shelbyville, Timpson)

2016 record: 31-14

Top returning players: "Sara Williamson ... Aubrey Williamson ... Gracie Bathke ... Yesenia Avalos

Newcomers to watch: Michelle Jamaica ... Alexis Haley

You can count on: "Good work ethic and playing hard to the final whistle." — Hammontree

Needs work: "Our passing game." — Hammontree

Did you know: Hammontree has a 251-171 record at Leverett's Chapel ... The Lady Lions defeated Yantis, Miller Grove, Chester and Trinidad to advance to the UIL State Volleyball Tournament for the first time in 30 years, losing in the semifinals to Tioga in three sets ... The Lady Lions will open the season ranked No. 10 in the preseason Class 2A poll by the Texas Girls Coaches Association


Mascot: Lady Mustangs

Coach: Roger Waters (75-83)

District: 20-2A (Leverett's Chapel, Carlisle, Shelbyville, Timpson, Gary, San Augustine)

2016 record: 15-20

Top returning players: Maci Carpenter ... Haley McMillan ... Jaylin Blakeney

Newcomers to watch: Sarrah Garrett

You can count on: "My setter." — Waters

Needs work: "Offensive tempo." — Waters

Did you know: The Lady Mustangs made the playoffs last season, falling in the opening round


Mascot: Lady Indians

Coach: Cal Goss (79-41)

District: 20-2A (Leverett's Chapel, Overton, Shelbyville, Timpson, Gary, San Augustine)

2016 record: 31-13

Top returning players: "Heather Craig (210 kills, 300 digs, 61 aces) ... Aubrey Hart (174 kills, 84 blocks) ... Haley Fears (267 digs, 42 aces) ... Callie Gray (204 digs, 91 kills, 65 blocks, 32 aces)

Newcomers to watch: Jailin Kee ... Jacqueline Alfaro .. Camdyn Gray

You can count on: "Experience in the system. This is our fourth year, so all the girls know what is expected and what to do in multiple situations." — Goss

Needs work: "Comradery. With a new setter and a couple of new hitters, we need reps together to figure out our roles before district." — Goss

Did you know: Carlisle won its first district title since 1990 a year ago and reached the regional tournament for the first time since 1993 ... Carlisle defeated Linden-Kildare, Rivercrest and Avery in the playoffs before falling to Evadale at the regional tournament


Mascot: Lady Lions

Coach: Barry Woodruff (240-288)

District: 19-2A (Big Sandy, Hawkins, Linden-Kildare, Union Hill)

2016 record: 15-18

Top returning players: Haley Breazeale (582 assists, 118 kills, 398 digs) ... Summer Grubbs ... Madison Wech (122 kills, 125 blocks) ... Brooke Reeves (119 kills, 18 aces, 114 blocks)

Newcomers to watch: Kasi Jones ... Shayla Gallagher

You can count on: "Very experienced setters and middles." — Woodruff

Needs work: "Blocking and defense. Our outside hitters have the potential to be very strong." — Woodruff

Did you know: Union Grove's volleyball team will be the first team to play in the school's new gymnasium


Mascot: Lady Hawks

Coach: Terri Boyd

District: 19-2A (Big Sandy, Union Grove, Linden-Kildare, Union Hill)

2016 record: 15-16

Top returning players: Emily Hodges ... Raeli Smith

Newcomers to watch: Jaycee Cheshire ... Alyssa Eddington ... Harlie Conover ... Alli Boyd ... Emily Moore ... Christian Harris ... Lilly Long

You can count on: "I think that serving should be one of our strong points." — Boyd

Needs work: "Learning to play together. With only two returning players from last year's team, it will be a work in progress." — Boyd

Did you know: Hawkins will be playing on a refinished gymnasium floor with a new logo and new lighting ... The Lady Hawks went 4-4 in district play a year ago and lost to Gary in the opening round of the playoffs


Mascot: Lady Wildcats

Coach: Angie Andrews

District: 19-2A (Hawkins, Union Grove, Linden-Kildare, Union Hill)

Top returning players: Jerricka Hare ... Taylor Dodez ... Airikah Pippins ... Haylee Cook

You can count on: "Count on us to be competitive in our district and bring some powerful hitting." — Andrews

Needs work: "We are going to be working on our defense and stepping up to the next level." — Andrews

Did you know: Big Sandy finished 9-1 in district play last season


Mascot: Lady Tigers

Coach: Shayne Erwin (12-17)

District: 19-2A (Hawkins, Big Sandy, Union Grove, Union Hill)

2016 record: 12-17

Top returning players: Makayla Martin (505 digs) ... Jaimya Gaston (201 kills, 63 blocks) ... Siarra Johnson (248 assists)

Newcomers to watch: Zardajiah Mitchell ... Peyton Turner

You can count on: "Our experience should help us this season. Last year there were only four players that had somewhat limited varsity experience. There were no seniors on last year's team. With everyone coming back this year, hopefully we can build on what we have learned." — Erwin

Needs work: "Mental toughness and consistency will be something that we need to work on." — Erwin

Did you know: Linden-Kildare went 3-5 in district play and lost in the bi-district round of the playoffs in 2016


Mascot: Sentinels

Coach: Susan Guerrero

2016 record: 8-2 (district)

Top returning players: Lauren Pitts ... Darbi Dorrough

You can count on: "We're hoping to have a strong defense." — Guerrero

Needs work: "Making smarting players and working on putting the ball away quickly." — Guerrero

Did you know: Christian Heritage School earned a bi-district c hampionship last season


Mascot: Lady Titans

Coach: Sabrina Williamson

District: TAPPS 5 1A (St. Mary's, Longview Christian School, Full Armor, Athens Christian Prep)

Top returning players: Kelsey Rathbun ... Paige Tomlinson

Newcomers to watch: Micah Cobb

You can count on: "Teamwork." — Williamson

Needs work: "Communication and quick response." — Williamson


Mascot: Knights

Coach: Barbara Barton

District: TAPPS 5 1A (Longview Christian School, Trinity School of Texas, Full Armor, Athens Christian Prep)

2016 record: 18-22

Top returning players: Kylee Allen

Newcomers to watch: Olivia Dunn

Needs work: "Setting. We graduated both starting setters." — Barton

Did you know: St. Mary's will be playing in a new gymnasium this season ... Barton was the TAPPS 1A Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 school year


Mascot: Lady Eagles

Coach: Julianne Feenstra

District: TAPPS 5 1A (St. Mary's, Trinity School of Texas, Full Armor, Athens Christian Prep)

2016 record: 10-14

Top returning players: Sasha Conner ... Kate Brown ... Jasmine Smith

Newcomers to watch: Abi Logsdon ... Anna Clark

You can count on: "The Lady Eagles are committed to showing up and working hard on a consistent basis. You can count on this team to not quit when they are behind or give up on their teammates. They are enthusiastic about the season and are working hard to be better every day. My hitters and setter are dependable." — Feenstra

Needs work: "We are working hard to improve our serve receive and quick transitions on defense." — Feenstra

Did you know: LCS finished 5-3 in district play last season and lost in bi-district to Waco Christian


Mascot: Lady Vandals

Coach: Ashton Brey

District: 13-4A (Brownsboro, Canton, Mabank, Rains, Wills Point)

Top returning players: "Alli Lloyd ... Cheyenne Sallee ... Grace Santos ... Macy Rucker

Newcomers to watch: Kennedy Dunn ... Skylar Savage

You can count on: "I can definitely count on this year's seniors to provide solid leadership for the underclassmen. Also, as a whole, these girls play with such passion and enthusiasm. That's a hard thing to teach, so it's exciting to watch them play with that much energy." — Brey

Needs work: "We are a fairly young team, so we need to work on getting our younger players comfortable playing at a higher level and faster pace." — Brey

Did you know: Brey, a former All-American softball player at East Texas Baptist University, coached softball at Spring Hill from 2014-17



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