Lady Cats open season today in dual match

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

Aug. 15, 2008 - After three scrimmages and two weeks of practices, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats open the 2008 season today at Wildcat Gym.

Second-year coach Rachel Curtis' team will battle Mount Vernon and Chapel Hill in a dual match, beginning with the freshman "B" team at 3:45 p.m., followed by the varsity, JV and freshmen "A" teams playing at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Curtis said with this being their first games of the year, she hopes the Lady Cats will have a big crowd.

"Especially with there being two games, I think people will take the time to come out and see us play," she said. "They can come out and watch the 4:30 p.m. game and then go get some dinner and come back for the 7:30 p.m. game. We do need a lot of support out here and the more we have the better."

Friday's game against Mount Vernon will be the second time the two teams have played each other as they scrimmaged Tuesday night.

"We are looking forward to the games tomorrow," the coach said. "We scrimmaged Mount Vernon Tuesday and we did not pull out our best game. We are looking forward to it and showing them a whole new team.

"I am not sure about Chapel Hill but Mount Vernon has a lot of hustle in them. We should be ready for them and we are going to go out and play our game."

With seven returning lettermen on the Lady Cats roster, led by District 11-4A Newcomer of the Year Maurie Lewis, senior First Team outside hitter Mackenzie Cross, senior Second Team outside hitter Baleigh Butler and senor Honorable Mention hitter Brittani Crawford, the Lady Cats are poised to improve on a 13-23 record one year ago. SSHS also has Kelsey Smith, Krista McMahan and Katie Dodd returning this season.

Curtis hopes the Lady Cats will bring out the best in each other just like they have during practices this week.

"We are a great team in practice and sometimes we have a hard time bringing that into the games," she said. "That is what we have been focusing on is real-time game situations and trying to make sure that they are mentally ready to do that.

"In practice, we are hitting well and blocking great, and last year we could not block at all. This year, we have been doing a whole lot of blocking drills and we are ready for what anybody throws at us."

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