District season opens today for Lady Cats
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Sept. 19, 2006 - With 22 games and three tournaments behind them, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats will open their most important stretch of the volleyball season today.

The Lady Cats start the District 11-4A schedule at about 6 p.m. today when they host Texas High. The JV and freshmen matches start at 4:30 p.m. in the two SSHS gymnasiums.

Sulphur Springs enters the contest with an 8-14 record, while Texas High comes in at 11-10. Last year, SSHS finished third in the district, while Texas High was fourth.

Last year's district champion, Greenville, is now in 10-4A, but Paris appears ready to take a step toward district title contender.

Paris has the best non-district record of the six 11-4A teams. The Lady Wildcats, who have a 21-4 mark, will host Mount Pleasant (18-7) today, while Lindale (12-7) will visit North Lamar (10-7), which was the district runner-up in 2005.

SSHS head coach Christi Funk said because this is her first year in Sulphur Springs, she doesn't know a lot about the other district teams. She's talked with other coaches, but won't know how strong the other teams are until she sees them in person.

"I don't have any expectations," she explained. "I expect us to do our best every game, and that's the extent of my expectations for this season.

"We've just talked about combining all the skills that we've been working on, working as a team and playing our game. We need to concentrate on our abilities and getting better every game."

The Lady Cats have the advantage of playing their first three district games at home. After tonight, they will take on Paris on Friday (varsity match begins at 4:30 p.m. due to the homecoming football game at Gerald Prim Stadium) and next Tuesday against Mount Pleasant.

But then, Sulphur Springs will be on the road for five consecutive matches before finishing up the final two games back at home.

Below are last year's season-ending standings:

Team District Season

Greenville 9-1 22-10

North Lamar 7-3 20-13

Sulphur Springs 6-4 21-13

Texas High 4-6 18-17

Paris 3-7 12-20

Mount Pleasant 1-9 17-17

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