By DON WALLACE
News-Telegram Sports Editor
New Sulphur Springs head volleyball coach Allison Irvin was very pleased with the outcome of Friday’s dual scrimmage against Commerce and Cumby.
The fans inside the cool air conditioning of the Sulphur Springs High School gym got to see some spirited action as the schools played under a running clock and took turns scrimmaging each other.
The Lady Cats took on Cumby first and did well against the Lady Trojans after a slow start.
“We had the jitters. I knew the girls were nervous, since it was the first game. We settled down and played well,” said Irvin. “We made some good shots and got our chemistry going. We communicated well and were reading the ball well. We were focused in both matches.”
Irvin said the level of competition seemed to bring out the best from the Lady Cats.
“Cumby has some good players and so does Commerce,” Irvin said. “Commerce has girls with good size and they aren’t just tall, they are big and athletic.”
Irvin said, “We did not let Commerce’s size stop us. We played smart and did things well as a team. We don’t have the tallest team around. A small team that hustles and has good team chemistry and plays smart can beat a taller team. I was pleased with our effort and how well we competed.”
Irvin then talked about the team and the different makeup of the squad.
“We have three seniors — Desi Debase, Katie Barnett and Jacey Mitchell,” Irvin said. “Desi is a great athlete, she will be playing outside as a hitter. Barnett and Mitchell are two setters. We have two freshmen in the middle, Kaylee Jefferson and Meike VanBenthen. Sarah Barnett and Molly Johnston will be defensive specialists. Sidney Dietze is the libero. Lexie Moore is another outside hitter for us. Sheretta Hill also is a right side player. Sarah Womack is on the varsity, but did not play Friday.”
Irvin continued, “I think all the girls had their shining moments in the scrimmage.”
The scrimmage was a break, in a way, for the Lady Cats. The girls have been enduring long practices.
“We worked out five hours each day Monday through Wednesday. Thursday, we took a little break and just practiced four hours,” Irvin said. “I am working the girls to get them in shape. We also working on quickness. This scrimmage was a good start to our season.”
Sulphur Springs JV coach David Carrillo said the junior varsity won both scrimmages during Friday action.
“We had some close, competitive matches,” Carrillo said. “We got good serves from Jaye Doughtie, Torie Moore and Hannah Crowson. Playing well on defense were Kristen Allen, Daisa Pruitt, Destiny Weeks and Elle Eckerd.”
Freshman coach Jerrod Hammack was also pleased with the ninth grade Sulphur Springs girls.
“We were in the right place most of the time. We served well and played hard,” Hammack said. “We are having fun and playing well as a team. The girls are encouraging each other and being good teammates. I think we are going to have a good team.”
The Lady Cats are participating Saturday in the Wills Point scrimmage. They will take on Caddo Mills and Mabank. The freshmen, junior varsity and varsity will compete, starting at 9 a.m.
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