Court dates Aug. 3

by | Jul 29, 2015 | Sports

Local schools begin practice Monday; season starts the following week

By Greg Ford

Sports Editor

[email protected]

It’s the middle of summer, and in a few weeks signs of autumn will be in the air.

Perhaps not literally, but, still, there will be a few sights and sounds of fall in the air, although one won’t hear them outside. Rather, they will be emanating from gyms across the state as, once again, high school volleyball begins competition.

Locally, the four varsity programs will hit the floor during the first week of August, during which they’ll have a little more than seven days to get ready for their respective season openers.

Out of that quartet of schools, one, Sachse, will again be led by veteran head coach Rikki Jones, who has guided the Lady Mustangs to multiple playoff appearances. Another, Plano East, will be guided by second-year head coach Scott Sandel, and looks to rebound from a tough 2014 campaign.

In Wylie, both the Lady Pirate and Lady Raider programs will be under new leadership, with Sherry Olivares taking command of the former and Lisa Curry the latter.

A year ago, Sachse finished in a three-way tie with Rowlett and Rockwall, each at 12-2, for first in District 11-6A, with Sachse then defeating Killeen in the bi-district round before falling to Highland Park in the area-round contest.

Sachse will be loaded, on paper, as it returns a number of starters, including Erin Richburg, Casey Enna, Meaghan Jones, Skyler Friel, Cyera Hintzen, Delaney Price and Kaitlin Coffey.

The Lady Mustangs will host a pair of scrimmages Saturday, Aug. 7 against Bishop Lynch and Wylie before opening the season Tuesday, Aug. 11 at Rockwall Heath. The home opener is Thursday, Aug. 13 against Carthage, and the non-district season continues into September; Sachse opens at Lakeview Centennial Sept. 11 to begin 11-6A competition.

Plano East’s Scott Sandel is another returning coach, albeit in his second year.

In 2014, he and the Lady Panthers suffered through a 3-23 campaign that included an 0-16 District 6-6A record. A number of players, including many underclassmen, are back after surviving their trial by fire, so to speak.

“The bulk of our team is sophomores, but they played a lot last year,” Sandel said. “And they’re talented, too.”

Also back are a group of seniors and juniors with plenty of playing experience, with Sandel noting the former have done a solid job of assuming leadership roles.

East opens practice Aug. 3 with freshman tryouts at 8 a.m., followed by the junior varsity and varsity sessions two hours later.

“There are still some spots open,” Sandel said of the JV and varsity.

Sandel added, “We want to be able to play and run multiple combinations.”

The 2015 season tips off Monday. Aug. 10 at Hockaday, which will be the first of several road games. That includes the 6-6A opener on Aug. 25 at Flower Mound, which will be followed by the Sept. 1 home opener against cross-town and district rival Plano West.

Curry takes over a Wylie East program from Kelly Lyons, who directed the Lady Raiders to their second consecutive playoff appearance a year ago. They finished 7-7 and in fourth in District 10-5A before losing to Frisco Centennial in the first round.

Prior to coming to East. Curry spent six years at Naaman Forest, where she directed the Lady Rangers to a 7-7 record in 11-6A this past season. That earned them a playoff berth (fourth place), where they lost to Waco Midway in the first round.

East also begins practice Aug. 3, followed by a series of scrimmages the weekend of Aug. 7-8. The Lady Raiders open the 2015 season at L.V. Berkner High School in dual competition with Berkner and Irving Nimitz, which begins more than a month-long series of non-district matches and tournaments. The 10-5A season tips off Tuesday, Sept. 15 at home against Prosper.

Curry has been familiarizing herself with the Lady Raiders during the offseason, including the summer.

“The kids already should (start practice) in shape, I’m hoping,” she said.

They’ll need to be in condition to handle the new formations Curry plans to install, including quick offensive sets.

“It’s going to be a work in progress,” she noted.

The coach added, “I’m looking for some great things with our offense.”

Curry inherits a team with several returning veterans, including seniors Julia Pierson, along with Brittany and Ashley Fannin. That’ll help as the Lady Raiders transition into their new offenses and defenses.

“I am looking forward to a great season, and I think good things will happen here with the kids and me,” Curry said.

The Lady Pirates barely missed the postseason in Morgan Cook’s final year as head coach, taking fifth in 10-5A at 6-8, a game in back of East. Olivares takes over following three years running the North Mesquite program.

The first week will be used for player evaluation, and making sure everyone is in “volleyball shape,” the coach said.

Olivares has spent the offseason observing the Lady Pirates on-court performances, and anticipates they’ll both be “competitive and feisty” this coming season.

Following scrimmages at Sachse and at North Forney the weekend of Aug. 7-8, they’ll travel to Waxahachie for a season-opening meeting with the defending 14-5A champion Lady Indians.

Wylie’s home opener will be Tuesday, Aug. 18 against Frisco Liberty. The Lady Pirates’ 10-5A season tips off Friday, Sept. 11 at Lovejoy.


Related News

Three keys to victory: Wylie East vs. Tyler High

Three keys to victory: Wylie East vs. Tyler High

The Raiders have had their shares of struggles at the start of district play, coming off of a heartbreaking loss to McKinney North.  Wylie East travels to Tyler to face the Tyler High School Lions Friday, Oct. 15. Here are three keys to a Raiders victory this...

read more
Wylie loses to Naaman Forest

Wylie loses to Naaman Forest

The Pirates (2-2, 2-5) allowed 28 points in the second half, losing to Naaman Forest 42-21. Play of the Game: Jaden Flores records pick-six against the Pirates Things started strong for Wylie against Naaman Forest (3-1, 3-1). After the first half, the Pirates held...

read more
Abraham qualifies to regional cross country meet

Abraham qualifies to regional cross country meet

Anjelika Abraham qualified for the third straight season, as the Wylie East cross country season competed at the district championship at Myers Park in McKinney Tuesday, Oct. 12. The senior finished ninth overall out of 48 runners in the girls varsity 5K (19:50.60)....

read more
Braves win district opener over Wills Point

Braves win district opener over Wills Point

The Community High School football team entered district competition with high expectations. In their first five games, the Braves (1-0, 4-2) have found offensive production, averaging 31 points per game. Community scored 50 points and finished with 548 total yards...

read more
Raiders lose to McKinney North

Raiders lose to McKinney North

Things were looking good for Wylie East in the first half, with the Raiders leading 21-0. This early lead wouldn’t hold, however, as Wylie East (0-3, 2-4) surrendered 28 unanswered points to lose to McKinney North (2-1, 3-4) by seven points at Wylie Stadium. Play of...

read more
Raiders race in Jesuit Invitational

Raiders race in Jesuit Invitational

The Wylie East cross country team returned to action Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Prestonwood Polo Club for the Jesuit Invitational. The varsity Lady Raiders finished 23rd overall with 619 total points. Senior Anjelika Abraham led the way, finishing 55th overall...

read more