Lady Tigers take court in 2020 with more experience
Heading into last year’s volleyball season, Glen Rose head coach Sandy Langford could count all her varsity letterwinners on one hand. Fortunately for the Lady Tigers, that’s not the case heading into the 2020 season.
What a difference one year makes.
“Experience of being a varsity team, experience with a varsity practice, and the maturity that grows every year with each player should make us more consistent and knowledgeable in situations,” Langford said.
Glen Rose opened practice on Monday. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lady Tigers didn’t get the chance to participate in prolonged summer workouts, so they are playing catch-up.
“They have been present, working hard, and trying to get back what they have lost,” Langford said.
The Lady Tigers, who finished 18-21 last year and lost 3-0 to sixth-ranked Argyle in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, lost key seniors in Taylor Fellers, who led the team in kills (300) and assists (454), and Avery Turner, who was second in the team in digs (199). But there are plenty of players ready to step into those roles.
Glen Rose returns four players who had 100 kills or more, led by seniors Alexis Mims, who had 191 kills and a team-best 57 blocks, and Abby Koerner who tallied 109 kills.
“They know the expectations that are set on the varsity level,” Langford said. “They have experienced success and they have experienced rebuilding.”
Senior setter Emma Lozier also returns and she recorded 394 assists and a team-high 51 service aces.
Junior Brooklynn Vara also returns with her 116 kills and 21 blocks, and sophomore Matti Young tallied 183 kills (third-best on the team) and 17 blocks.
“Matti is still young but she is strong, powerful and jumping very well,” Langford said. “We are looking for her to put the ball down.”
Defensively, the Lady Tigers return senior Lindsay Andress and juniors Kylie Frush and Cam Hinton.
Hinton led the Lady Tigers with a school-record 621 digs and 46 service aces last year, while Frush and Andress added 119 and 97 digs, respectively.
“There is excitement and competitiveness, and some of the younger girls are really stepping up and challenging one another for a spot,” Langford said after the first two days of practice.
The Lady Tigers have scrimmages on Friday at Melissa High School and Saturday at Glen Rose before opening the season on Tuesday when they travel to Boyd High School for dual matches versus Sanger and Boyd.
After playing at Tolar on Aug. 14, the Lady Tigers will have their first home matches of the season on Aug. 15 when they host Iowa Park and Godley in a dual at Tiger Arena.
“It will be interesting to see that baseline of where we are starting to see what we need to do to get to the end result we are wanting,” Langford said. “Besides our seniors, we are very young and have a few spots that may not get filled for a little while.”