Volleyball teams put final pieces together in opening week

Area high school teams finished their only week to practice and scrimmage. Now, the high school volleyball season is here. Matches were played Monday and Tuesday after the press deadline, and the first tournament weekend is drawing near.

Here’s the latest from Carroll, Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine.

Grapevine: Head coach Kori Cooper received the stunning news last week when star sophomore outside hitter Parker Fenton told her she would not be playing in 2014.

“The family let us know last Monday,” Cooper said. “They said she was going to take a mental break. It shocked me. But we have ample time to find out what we can do in her absence. Hopefully, we’ll see her next year.”

Fenton made an immediate impact with the varsity in 2013 when she was called up during the middle of the season. She helped Grapevine make the playoffs. Outside hitter is an area of depth for Cooper. She can choose between sophomore Jordan McCalla, junior Taylor Kress, junior Peyton Gidney and senior Madison Trasher.

“The good thing is that she we have options and depth,” Cooper said. “I think we’re going to be very good on offense.”

Cooper said she formed her team last Wednesday (Aug. 6) but still hasn’t decided if she is going to go with a 6-2 or a 5-1.

Meanwhile, Cooper still wants her team to keep focus on serving and serve receive. She believes those are the two most important elements of the game.

Grapevine opened the season on Tuesday against Hebron and then hosts its tournament Friday and Saturday.

Carroll: On a couple of recruiting notes, senior middle blocker Madison Drescher has verbally committed to Oklahoma, setter McKenzie Brewer has committed to Stephen F. Austin and outside hitter Paige Panter has committed to Texas A&M.

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Carroll went through six scrimmages between Friday and Saturday. On Friday, the Lady Dragons faced Plano East, Hurst L.D. Bell and Arlington. On Saturday, they played Rockwall Heath, McKinney Boyd and Bishop Lynch.

“In those types of setups I want to see rotations and how they perform in pressure situations,” head coach Ryan Mitchell said. “This week, we’re going to spend time talking about our pregame routine and scouting reports for teams we know and don’t know.”

Carroll opened the season Monday with a match against Richardson Pearce followed by Tuesday’s match against Plano West. The team is headed to the Texas Invitational this weekend in Pearland.

Colleyville Heritage: The Lady Panthers spent their Friday scrimmaging against Lake Highlands and Frisco Centennial. Saturday was just a work day.

“I always want to use that Saturday about working on ourselves,” coach Jamie Siegel said. “That’s a time to review and normally look at film.”

Siegel admitted she’s still looking at some different lineups and would probably continue to do that in Tuesday’s season opener against Flower Mound.

This team is going to rely on the trio of seniors Anna Walsh, Alex Janak and Maddie Jones to provide leadership to have the successful season it envisions. Siegel said she can already see it.

“They’re much more mentally tough,” Siegel said. “They’re saying things to the team that I’m about to say. They’re grabbing on to the expectations.”

Don’t expect Siegel to choose between the 6-2 and the 5-1. She may look at both in this weekend’s Texas Invitational in Pearland.

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