Lady Tigers are enthusiastic for season to start
No less than 46 girls showed up to infuse the program with some new blood and with the Lady Tigers program if full blown rebuilding mode, the timing was perfect.
“I am anticipating some intense hard fought games this year,” said Williams. “The girls are fired up and ready to play, they really now how to get after it. I am excited about what I saw from the returners.”
Rockdale will be looking to replace ubiquitous honorable mention all-state performer Crystal Callas who was in triple digits in three categories last year in digs (160), assists (193) and kills (198).
“Krista Phillips really developed her swing over the summer,” said Williams. “Bailey Pannell will be playing a different role this year and making an impression.”
“Hailey Offield will be dominating the back row,” Williams said. “Katie Strelsky and Kathryne Dodd will be setting up the hitters this year. Jill Young will be there to lay some blocks on the opposition.
“Newcomers Victoria Drake, Brittany Barnett, Lisa Vest, Morgan Fischer, Marissa Mireles, and Erin Daniels are bringing some intensity and heart to the team this year.”
Rockdale has not posted a winning season since 1999 and has made just one playoff appearance (2006) in the past 15 years.
In the past three seasons, the Lady Tigers are 2-30 in district play.
They’re in a reloading mode at district favorite Caldwell, but the Lady Hornets return probably the two best players in the district.
Senior Sondra Flippen was the district most valuable player last year, while setter Allison Alford, the award winner at her position, is a junior now.
Flippen recorded 345 kills and 70 blocks from her middle blocker spot. Alford recorded 700 assists and still had 160 kills.
Lucas Lovejoy is the No. 1 ranked Class 3A team.
The Lady Tigers dropped a pair of matches Tuesday night at Tiger Gymnasium in a three-way matchup with Lexington and Granger.
Lexington bested Rockdale 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 in the first match, while Granger topped the Lady Tigers 26-24, 25-23, 25-17.
Against Lexington, Bailey Pannell had four kills and four aces, while Victoria Drake had five assists and Morgan Fischer four aces.
Against Granger, Pannell recorded seven kills, Katie Strelsky eight assists and Drake served up three aces.
The Lady Tigers compete in the Copperas Cove Tournament this weekend, then host McGregor Tuesday.
LADY TIGER FILE
Coach—Jason Williams (2nd year) 2009 record—7-21 District record—1-11 (last) Last playoff appearance—2006. Last winning season—1999. Key losses—Crystal Callas (allstate), Megan Frei, Brittany Frei, Emily Ammon. Key returnees—Krista Phillips, Jill Young, Bailey Pannell, Hailey Offield, Kathryn Dodd Key newcomers—Victoria Drake, Brittany Barnett, Lisa Vest, Morgan Fischer, Marissa Mireles, Erin Daniels, Samantha Muston. District opener—at Caldwell Sept. 24 District favorite—Caldwell