Lady Tigers open volleyball season Tuesday at Boyd
GLEN ROSE — In a COVID-shortened season last year, the Glen Rose Lady Tigers finished the year 14-17 and 4-4 in district play. They managed to sneak into the playoffs with a win over Gatesville to determine third place, but they bowed out early with a loss to Iowa Park in the first round.
With a little more experience, the Lady Tigers are hoping to improve on it in 2021.
“We are very excited about this season,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said. “The gym has a great atmosphere. The girls are very high energy, eager to learn and have great leaders for the younger girls to look up to.”
The Lady Tigers, who relied heavily on several freshmen and sophomores in key positions, will be a year older, and that could be a recipe for success heading into the 2021 season.
“Your first year on varsity is always a learning experience whether it’s playing girls of all ages, changing game format to three out of five, or just the pace of the game,” Langford said. “All of this is behind us. We are more settled in, relaxed and getting to move to a more advanced level of play.”
Glen Rose boasts just two seniors on this year’s team in libero Cam Hinton, who led the team in digs and services, and hitter Brooklynn Vara, who had 62 kills and 19 blocks in an injury-plagued year, but they are returning two-year starter and kill leader junior Matti Young. Junior Gabrielle Bordeaux saw some key action late in the season as well.
“Matti, Cam, Brooklynn, and Gabrielle are very unselfish young ladies and will be our team’s backbone,” Langford said. “They are all-around players who know how to win, work hard and hold others accountable. We want these girls on the court as much as possible. I feel very comfortable moving them around in other positions that they don't normally play or haven't played before to make the team better overall.”
Sophomore middle Aimee Flippen, sophomore setter Avery Gray and sophomore hitter Ava Sehnert will also be counted on to pick up where they left off last year, and steadily improve on their numbers.
Hinton, the Texas Sports Writer’s Association Class 4A first-team, all-state libero, anchored the Lady Tiger defense last season with 569 digs and 54 services aces, and sophomore Reese Andersen saw limited varsity action last year.
Flippen, the district newcomer of the year, was fourth on the team in kills with 126 and second in blocks with 42, while Sehnert had 156 kills and 19 blocks mostly hitting from the outside. Those two, along with Vara and Bordeaux, will carry the lion’s share of the offense.
“We have a few great angles that we are going to be good at,” Langford said. “Definitely, our defense is tough with our three-year varsity returner back there and few quick and smart girls to join her, but offensively, we don't just have one go-to girl. Our hitters are very versatile so we can do a lot of moving around.”
Gray was second on the team in assists with 307 while adding 19 service aces and 116 digs.
The Lady Tigers had a scrimmage Friday morning at Burleson High School where they played Burleson, Kennedale and Fossil Ridge.
On Saturday, the Lady Tigers are scrimmaging in the Red Gym in Glen Rose with Blum (8 a.m.); Brock (8:40 a.m.); Kennedale (10:40 a.m.) and Burleson (noon).
Glen Rose will open the regular season on Tuesday when they travel to Boyd High School for matches with Boyd and Sanger.
Fans will get their first look at the Lady Tigers at home on Aug. 19 on the first day of the Glen Rose Volleyball Tournament.