Lady Elks execute plan
Maybe facing all that tough competition in non-district and tournament play is paying off Burleson’s volleyball team in District 9-5A play.
The Lady Elks are off to a 2-0 start in 9-5A thanks to a home win Friday over Crowley, 25-8, 25-13, 25-22, and Tuesday’s, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 23-25, 15-4, at Everman.
Playing at Everrman is always tough and it’s even tougher thanks to 6-foot-2 sophomore Afedo Manyang playing at middle blocker.
Burleson entered the match with a game plan for Manyang and executed the plan well.
“She (Manyang) is still there and still tall,” Burleson coach D’Anna Newton said. “Our plan tonight was to keep her off the front row and whenever she was on the back row we had to score. It took us five games but we were able to successfully execute our game plan.”
The Lady Elks (10-17) registered the win playing without their starting libero Natali Wheeler and starting right-side hitter Kayla Perkins.
“We have battled a bunch on injuries lately,” Newton said. “(Senior) Breanna Imbarlina has done an outstanding job for us at libero. She knows the position and has stepped up to the plate. I’ve been pleased with her play there.”
Sophomore Emily Howell has filled in ably for Perkins on the right-side.
Middle blockers Sarah Reid and Jailah Ivory have stepped things up for the Lady Elks, Newton said. Burleson also got a boost with the return of outside hitter Hope Hodges from an illness.
“We are 2-0 and that is a great start for us,” Newton said.
Friday against Crowley, the Lady Elks played well in their first two sets but struggled in the third set before winning by three points.
“The first two games we beat them pretty but then in that last game we relax and had to win a tight one,” Newton said. “At times we struggle to be consistent in all our games.”
The Lady Elks play Friday at Arlington Seguin and host crosstown rival Centennial Tuesday.