Fall Sports Preview: Lady Brahmas face new challenges in new district
Lady Brahmas huddle up during a timeout in Stockdale.
STOCKDALE -- The Lady Brahma volleyball team shifted directions a bit last year when Head Coach Ashley West took over the program. West implemented a number of changes in Stockdale, and the team struggled to make the necessary adjustments early on. By the end of the year, however, the Lady Brahmas were finding comfort in their new system, and put some wins together. Stockdale eventually finished just outside of the playoff picture, though, and felt some measure of disappointment.
Flash forward to 2012. The Lady Brahmas have eight of 12 varsity lettermen returning, including seniors Makaley Perez, Carey Murphy, Haley Wallace, Jordan Scheel, Chelsea Irwin, and Sarah Holguin. Junior Katelyn Shaver and sophomore Keana Savage also return from the 2011 roster, and each has the experience to make this team better than last year.
Like several of the other schools in the area, Stockdale also has several sophomores on varsity this season, including Tanisha Fowler, Ashley Fowler, Kristen Moore, and Hanna Deagan. The Lady Brahmas also have a little more height than they have had in the past, and are continuing to improve their overall conditioning.
Not that their district was a breeze last year, not by any stretch of the imagination, but Stockdale has an even tougher road ahead in 2012.
While Nixon-Smiley and Luling remain on the district schedule, gone are the teams from Marion, Cole, Randolph, and Brooks Academy. The teams being added into the mix are quite a bit stronger, as Poth, Karnes City, Schulenburg, and Hallettsville come into the fold.
As one coach pointed out, the speed of play is probably the biggest change the Lady Brahmas will have to face. While Marion was clearly on a different level than most of the district last year, Stockdale can expect a similar style of play from Poth, Karnes City, and Schulenburg. There will be no easy matches, and earning one of the district’s three playoff spots will require lots of hard work.
So far this season, the Lady Brahmas have had their ups and downs. Stockdale began the year with a win over Runge Aug. 13, and then split matches with Poteet and Charlotte on the 14th. Stockdale had a great showing during pool play on the first day of the Stockdale Invitational Tournament, but then stumbled a bit in bracket play against George West and Poteet. The team rebounded with a straight-sets win over San Antonio Hawkins, but then fell to Lytle Aug. 21.
The reality is that the slate will be wiped clean on Sept. 11, as the Lady Brahmas begin district play in Luling. Stockdale’s first district home match will be Tuesday, Sept. 18, as the Lady Brahmas welcome rival Nixon-Smiley.