SSHS volleyball team ready for season opener
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Aug. 14, 2006 - After seeing her team scrimmage twice last weekend, SSHS head volleyball coach Christi Funk is anxious to see them in a real match.

That comes tomorrow.

The Lady Cats will host Commerce and Clarksville on Tuesday in a three-team match at the SSHS gym.

Tuesday's varsity line-up will be: SSHS vs. Commerce at 4:30 p.m., followed by Commerce vs. Clarksville at about 6:30 p.m., and SSHS vs. Clarksville at about 8:30 p.m.

In the SSHS auxiliary gym, the Lady Cat junior varsity will follow the same schedule, while the SSHS freshmen will play at the middle school starting at 4:30 p.m.

Coach Funk, first-year head coach for the Lady Cats, got a look at the team Friday against Commerce and again on Saturday in a scrimmage against Royse City. She mixed and matched line-ups and tweaked the roster until she settled on what she believes will be a good mix.

"We looked really good," she said. "When we started the day, I told them that I was going to looking at a lot of things, changing a lot of things and trying to figure out where our strengths are going to be and what is going to work for this team. 

"They worked very well in being flexible and worked together no matter who I put on the floor."

She will go with a roster that includes returning lettermen Kristen McDonald, Kayla Morgan, Marci Womack and Amanda McGowan to go with seniors Jordan Anderson and Darla Dickson, juniors Kelsey Evans, Brittani Dillard, Elise Rascoe and Haley Rogers, and sophomores Baleigh Butler, McKenzie Cross and Brittani Crawford.

Morgan was the District 12-4A Blocker of the Year last season, while McDonald was an Honorable Mention All-District selection.

"I think by the end of the day on Saturday, I could see that we had something together that will work for this team," she explained.

She sees the strengths of the squad being the way they play together and communicate, and the way they pass the ball.

The Lady Cats are coming off a 21-14 record last season - the fifth time in school history a volleyball team has surpassed 20 wins - and two consecutive playoff berths after going six years without a postseason appearance.

"Our strength, right off the bat, is going to be teamwork. We communicate very well and work very well automatically," Funk said. "Passing is going to be a huge strength. Passing is going to be a great strength.

"We've got a lot of things to work on, but I'm really excited about our potential."

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