Lady Elks take first step toward return to playoffs
Things are looking up for Burleson’s volleyball team, which opened practice Tuesday morning by running at the track.
Lady Elks’ coach D’Anna Newton welcomed back seven returning players from last year’s successful squad, which made its way back to the playoffs.
Returning from the 2016 team that went 17-24 overall and 9-6 in District 9-5A play are seniors Sarah Reid (middle blocker), Jailah Ivory (middle blocker), Kailynn Zeiner (outside hitter) and Kirstie Gonterman (outside/right side hitter) and
juniors Kyleigh Rich (defensive specialist), Kyra Smith (defensive specialist) and Emily Howell (outside hitter).
To that group, Newton will add some sub-varsity players and possibly even a few incoming freshmen to fill out the varsity roster.
“It is going to be a good mix,” Newton said. “There are some freshmen who have the potential to make varsity. One thing is certain – we will have some good competition for varsity spots.”
The coaching staff will have teams chosen quickly because the Lady Elks are slated to scrimmage Friday at Glen Rose. They will then host a scrimmage Saturday morning. At 1 p.m. Saturday, an alumni game will be played with a reception to follow.
Burleson opens the season, Tuesday at Stephenville at 6:30 p.m. The Lady Elks play Aug. 11-12 at the Abilene’s Bev Ball Classic.
Newton was proud to note the volleyball program had the best attendance of all the girls programs during summer strength and conditioning program.
“I was happy and surprised to see that volleyball dominated attendance,” Newtwon said. “The girls want to get better and there is an expectation for them to be there. I was pleased with the turnout that we had.”
The players lifted weights and worked on conditioning in the morning, then came back later for open gym.
Newton said the player are determined to build on the momentum gained from making the playoffs last season and go further this season