Volleyball season begins this week


TEXARKANA, Texas — Three local volleyball teams, along with the schools in Northeast Texas, get their volleyball seasons underway Monday and Tuesday.

For their season openers, Pleasant Grove hosts Beckville on Monday, Texas High hosts Atlanta Tuesday, and Liberty-Eylau travels to Hooks Tuesday.

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Texas High

The Lady Tigers are coming off a 28-12 season, including going 11-1 in district play.

“One of our strengths is that we have the returning MVP of the district,” head coach Melissa Hardy said. “We have a core group of girls who played varsity last year for us, and that’s a positive. We’re going to have a lot of growth; we lost a lot of defensive players from last year.”

Bella Cherry, the reigning MVP, plays all the way around for the Lady Tigers, but will be out as they start the season. Mally Lumpkin was the newcomer of the year for the league, and Cydney Hopkins was also a full time player.

Carlyn Clack was spot time on the back row and is expected to take over the liberal position for Texas High, and middle Kiara Martin also played last fall.

Freshman Taryne Stiger will help at middle blocker and Kyleigh Perkins and Sydney Woods, also freshmen, are expected to contribute as well.

Sophomore Kyla Reed will join the varsity this season, and freshman Deja Aubrey is expected to add depth.

“We have a lot of youth we’re going to rely on and get them some experience,” Hardy said. “But we’re quick and athletic, also. Considering we haven’t had Bella here and won’t for the next couple of weeks, as well as one of the freshmen will have to see, we’re coming along. Cydney ( Hopkins) has been setting for us and she’s done a really good job, getting her reps in.

“Early on, these girls will put in a lot of work, and once we get Bella back we’ll be a better team for it. The young girls aren’t scared; they’re jumping right in there and look like the rest of the group. They just need the experience but are playing with confidence.”

Texas High hosts Atlanta on Tuesday to begin the season.

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Pleasant Grove

Pleasant Grove has a team of 10 players that includes three experienced senior leaders in defensive specialist Emma Boehmke, defensive specialist/setter McKenzie Williams and defensive specialist/hitter Adi Koller.

“We are going to focus on growing, jelling together and playing the best defense that we can by the end of the year,” Lady Hawks head coach Amy Collvins said. “The girls have a great team mentality. We are so well rounded. I can basically use anybody for any position, except for the setter position, so having that loosens up some strings as far as if something goes wrong. They are eager to get better, jell as a team and help each other out.

“I would like us to improve upon the speed of the game. If we can improve that, I think our skill will come. We know our capabilities now and we are trying to build upon them.”

Hitter/defensive specialist Madison Carpenter, middle blocker Lauren Stewart and hitter/defensive specialist Rylie Williams are each juniors who return to the Pleasant Grove team.

Sophomores Reese Gibbs (setter/middle blocker), Julianne Naples (hitter/defensive specialist), Abigail Boehmke (defensive specialist/hitter) and Abby Runion (defensive specialist) round out the Hawks’ roster.

“Emma, ​​Mckenzie and Adi all have leadership qualities and they each bring something to the team,” Collvins said. “They do a good job of guiding the younger players.”

Pleasant Groves opens the regular season Monday, hosting Beckville at 6:30 pm at Hawk Gym.

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Liberty-Eylau

Former Liberty-Eylau standout and Stephen F. Austin graduate Maya Polley takes over the Lady Leopards volleyball program as the third head coach in as many seasons.

Polley is instilling discipline and bringing energy back to the team.

“For the most part, all the girls have responded well; what I’m bringing in is a lot of discipline and dedication, which they’ve been lacking over the last three years,” Polley said. “That’s the main goal right now, and most of them are accommodating and adapting to new things. We’re all new, and it’s coming along pretty well.”

The Leopards will have five or six seniors on their 12-player roster, one junior and the rest are sophomores. LE will run a 6-2 during the season mainly, but could also switch to a 5-1.

Ja’Niya Sanders and Myah Hurd, both seniors, could be difference makers for Liberty-Eylau. Sanders and Kaci Otwell will see.

Hurd and Jamaica Ray will play the middle blockers, and outside hitters are Chloe Ward and possibly La’Tavia Duckett. Defensive specialists include Olivia Garren, Kourtney Howard and Nevaeh Hill.

“We need to work on communication; we lack consistency and that comes from a lack of winning,” Polley said. “We have to picture winning so we can start winning some games. I want to see our communication grow because everything will grow from that. I’m excited to get the season underway. The girls are working really hard and have shown some great determination .”

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2022 VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULES

LADY TIGERS

Date=Site-Opponent=Time

Aug. 9=Atlanta=4:30

Aug. 11-13=Tyler tournament=TBA

Aug. 16=North Lamar=4:30

Aug. 19=Greenville=4:30

Aug. 23=Carthage/Pleasant Grove=4:30

Aug. 25-27=Mesquite Horn tournament=TBA

Aug. 30=Prairieland=4:30

September 1-3=Whitehouse tournament=TBA

September 6=at Sulfur Springs=4:30

September 9=x-at Whitehouse=4:30

September 13=x-Longview=5

September 16=x-at Pine Tree=4:30

September 20=x-at Marshall=5

September 23=x-Hallsville=4:30

September 27=x-Tyler=5

September 30=x-at Mount Pleasant=4:30

October 4=x-Whitehouse=5

October 7=x-at Longview=4:30

October 11=x-Pine Tree=5

October 14=x-Marshall=4:30

October 18=x-at Hallsville=5

October 21=x-at Tyler=4:30

October 25=x-Mount Pleasant=5

X-District 15-5A game.

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LADY HAWKS

Date=Site-Opponent=Time

Aug. 8=Beckville=6:30 p.m

Aug. 11=at Tyler, Texas, tournament=TBA

Aug. 16=at Longview=4:30 p.m

Aug. 19=at Prairieland==5 pm

Aug. 25=at Marshall tournament=TBA

Aug. 30=at Tatum=7 pm

September 1=that White House=TBA

September 6=Sulfur Bluff=6 pm

September 13=at Spring Hill=7 pm

September 20=Beckville=6 p.m

x-Sept. 23=North Lamar=4:30 p.m

x-Sept. 27=at Paris=5:30 pm

x-Sept. 30=at Pittsburgh=4:30 p.m

x-Oct. 4=Sulphur Springs=5:30 p.m

x-Oct. 7=at Liberty-Eylau=4:30 pm

x-Oct. 11=at North Lamar=6 pm

x-Oct. 14=Paris=4:30 p.m

x-Oct. 18=Pittsburg=6 p.m

x-Oct. 21=at Sulfur Springs=4:30 p.m

xy-Oct. 25=Liberty-Eylau=6 pm

x-District 15-4A game. y-Senior Night.

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LADY LEOPARDS

Date=Site-Opponent=Time

Aug. 9=at Hooks=4:30

Aug. 11-13=Union Grove tournament=TBA

Aug. 12=DeKalb=4:30

Aug. 16=at New Boston=4:30

Aug. 18-20=Hughes Springs tournament=TBA

Aug. 19=that Paul Pewitt=4:30

Aug. 23=Queen City=4:30

Aug. 25-27=Marshall tournament=TBA

Aug. 30=at DeKalb=4:30

September 2=at Mount Vernon=4:30

September 6=at Atlanta=4:30

September 8-10=Chapel Hill tournament=TBA

September 9=Maud=4:30

September 13=at MP Chapel Hill=4:30

September 20=at Greenville=4 pm

September 23=x-at Pittsburg=4:30

September 27=x-Sulphur Springs=4:30

September 30=x-at Paris

October 4=x-at North Lamar=4:30

October 7=x-Pleasant Grove=4:30

October 11=x-Pittsburg=4:30

October 14=x-at Sulfur Springs=4:30

October 18=x-Paris=4:30

October 21=x-North Lamar=4:30

October 25=x-at Pleasant Grove=4:30

X-District 15-4A game.

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