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2014 Fall Sports Preview: Lady Bears’ experience should guide them into postseason
ROBERT C. McDONALD —
Cayla Newberry (left) and Victoria Elizondo of La Vernia stand ready at the net.
LA VERNIA -- They have won a number of district titles and made several good playoff runs in recent years, but the La Vernia Lady Bear volleyball team is still looking for that magical season.
The Lady Bears made a perfect 10-0 run through district last season to advance to the playoffs. They earned an easy first-round win over Boerne, but then fell in the second round to Columbus. Head Coach Theresa Reyes knows her team has to work harder this year if they are going to remain competitive in the playoffs.
La Vernia lost several big-time players to graduation this year, including outside hitters Brooke Haliscak and Sara Hill. They won’t be easy to replace, but the Lady Bears have to try. Despite the losses, La Vernia does return 11 members from last season’s varsity roster. Not all were starters, but they did earn playing time and valuable varsity experience. To supplement the roster, a few juniors and sophomores were moved up, in addition to a talented freshman.
The Lady Bears haven’t started the 2014 season off quite as strong as Reyes would like, but they all know there is still time to get things right. La Vernia dropped a pair of matches to Floresville and Southwest to start things off, and then went 3-6 during play at the Austin ISD Tournament. The girls then dropped another match to Fredericksburg. La Vernia was scheduled to play Boerne on Aug. 26, and will be in San Marcos this weekend for another tournament. Reyes and her girls understand that each of these matches is an opportunity to improve, that the end scores won’t matter once district play begins.
“We have work to do to prepare for district, and we are playing to improve,” Reyes said. “We have done a lot of great things that the outcome of the match does not show.”
The district schedule will look a bit different for the Lady Bears this season, though, as they move to District 26-4A by virtue of realignment. They will compete against the teams from Canyon Lake, Cuero, Navarro, Gonzales, Wimberley, and Yoakum. The change means a bit more travel for the girls, but none of them is far enough away to concern Reyes.
As for goals, Reyes always has the same major ones for her teams, and that is to win the district title and to compete for a state crown. There are many smaller goals along the way, but she believes in aiming for the top, and not selling her teams short of what they can achieve.
“I have total confidence and faith in these young ladies,” Reyes said.
The Lady Bears begin district play Tuesday, Sept. 9, as the team from Yoakum travels to La Vernia. The match is set to start at 6 p.m. The district season wraps up on Tuesday, Oct. 28, when La Vernia travels to Canyon Lake.
La Vernia Volleyball
2 Sydney Hayes 11
3 Audrey Mayes 11
4 Paige Vajdos 12
6 Brianna Dear 11
5 Mackinley Zimmerle 11
7 Katie Dorsett 11
8 Morgan Burns 10
9 Madyson Gregory 11
10 Victoria Elizondo 12
11 Ashley Frederick 11
12 Christa Reyes 9
13 Kiersten Muenster 12
14 Kim De La Torre 12
15 Caitlin Kee 12
16 Cayla Newberry 11
17 Alisen Saenz 12
18 Hayli Verrips 10
La Vernia Volleyball Schedule
Aug. 29-30 San Marcos Tourn. There V TBA
Sept. 2 East Central Home F/JV/V 5/5/6:15
Sept. 4/6 Hays Tourn. There V TBA
Sept. 9 Yoakum* Home F/JV/V 5/5/6
Sept. 12 La Grange There V/F/JV 4:30/4:30/5
Sept. 13 La Vernia Tourn. Home F/JV TBA
Sept. 16 Gonzales* ** Home F/JV/V 5/5/6
Sept. 19 Navarro* There F/JV/V 4:30/4:30/5:30
Sept. 23 Cuero* Home F/JV/V 5/5/6
Sept. 26 Wimberley* There F/JV/V 4:30/4:30/5:30
Oct. 3 Canyon Lake* Home F/JV/V 5/5/6
Oct. 7 Yoakum* Home F/JV/V 5/5/6
Oct. 10 Gonzales* There F/JV/V 4:30/4:30/5:30
Oct. 14 Navarro* Home F/JV/V 5/5/6
Oct. 17 Cuero* There F/JV/V 4:30/4:30/5:30
Oct. 21 Wimberley* Home F/JV/V 5/5/6
Oct. 24 Cotulla Home F/JV/V 4:30/4:30/5:30
Oct. 28 Canyon Lake* There F/JV/V 5/5/6
*District Play, **Parents Night
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