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Cypress, Tomball area volleyball teams in midst of district play

September 22, 2018

For the past few years, CFISD has grown into one of the state’s largest school districts in Houston, maxing out at 10 teams in the past few alignments.

The new addition of Bridgeland and Cy Park at the varsity level in 2018 made it hard for the old District 17-6A to stay together.

Six Cy Fair teams, three playoff teams from 2017, shifted to Region II. Cy Lakes, Cy Park, Cy Ranch, Cy Springs, Cy Woods, Langham Creek and the district’s newest school Bridgeland moved to 14-6A alongside Tomball Memorial and Bryan.

Cy Ranch, Cy Woods and Langham Creek made the postseason last season, Bryan did too in 18-5A.

Cy Ranch was projected by many to win the 14-6A title due to senior outside hitter Peyton DeBello, Mississippi State commit, Michelle Klein, Arkansas State commit, defensive specialist Sabrina Sustala, Texas A&M commit and Elayne Grisbee, UNC Greensboro commit.

11 players graduated last year, which meant the varsity experience level was low.

“Before the season started I knew there would definitely be a different learning curve than what we have had in the previous years,” Cy Ranch head coach Candice Fuchs said.

Fuchs’ confidence in the team was still high. They’re currently tied for first with Langham Creek in 14-6A and suffered district loss No. 1 to Tomball Memorial this past Friday.

“I knew that our new additions once acclimated would be able to contribute and help us to be a well-rounded unit,” Fuchs said. “As long as we took every experience as an opportunity I knew we could really blossom and hit our stride when it matters most.”

The Mustangs have had two program records broken this season. Sustala broke the record for number of digs in a single match against College Park with 35 digs and DeBello broke the record for number of aces in a single match against Cy Creek with 11 aces.

Fuchs has been very happy with the progression so far.

“I am easily pleased, but never satisfied and I think the girls have bought into this mindset as well,” Fuchs said. “We refuse to become stagnant in our growth. As much as we were seen as an underdog in preseason, starting district off the way we have also puts a huge target on your back.”

At practice her goal is to make them comfortable with the uncomfortable.

“That means we have a growth mindset,” Fuchs said. “This team overall is still young in experience, so I am very positive to say that we have not reached our max potential.”

The Mustangs have made a good start to district, but it’s still a very competitive district.

Langham Creek lost talent from last year’s district championship squad, including Whitney Foreman, LSU signee. Nevertheless, junior defensive specialist Erica Lowery, Texas A&M commit, is back to led the team.

“We know that people will catch on to us quickly, so our intention is to try and stay fresh on the court,” Fuchs said.

Bryan and Cy Woods will aim for the last two playoff spots. There’s also Tomball Memorial which are led by senior setter Karli Rose, LSU commit.

Senior Ann Florian Reder and sophomore libero Callie Cogdill lead Cy Woods.

Cy Springs is led by junior Lelan Bradley and Cy Lakes had replace middle-blocker Ellease Crumpton, Arkansas signee.

Bridgeland and Cy Park, making their initial varsity voyage with still only underclassmen, are building for the future.

“We knew this would be a tough district to be a part of this year,” Fuchs said. “Several of these schools have created elite level programs and they have some big time athletes. It is a little more strenuous on the travel side when we go to Bryan and Tomball Memorial.

“But I think some fun memories are always made on the bus rides and up until now our girls have not really been able to make those memories because our bus rides were max of 20 minutes. All in all, it has been an exciting new challenge.”

District-17-6A

Spring Branch ISD and the remaining five Cy Fair schools, combined to create another the other district for the next two seasons.

17-6A in Region III has Cy-Fair, Cy Creek, Cy Ridge, Cy Falls, Memorial, Northbrook, Spring Woods, Stratford and Jersey Village.

Cy-Fair and Memorial, in 15-6A, reached the playoffs last year. The Mustangs came in as the favorite and are led by senior Sanaa’ Dotson.

The Bobcats are led by sophomore Rebekah Portalatin, last year’s 17-6A Newcomer of the Year. There’s also senior Elyse Buras and junior Lauryn Bourne.

Cy Creek is led by Maggie Miller, last year’s 17-6A Defensive Player of the Year.

Cy Ridge is led by junior Emerald Jacobs and Skyla Childs. Jersey Village returns top hitter senior Alexis Marion and Cydni Miller. Cy Falls will be competitive and build for the future.

Tomball

The Cougars return strong under coach Cheri Wallace in one of the toughest districts in the city in 20-5A with teams like Willis, Montgomery and Kingwood Park.

Tomball lost to Hutto in the first round of the playoffs a year ago and had to replace Natalia Munoz, Kendall Glueck and Kayla Cannon.

Luckily, Ainsley Hardy, Kate Sralla, Abigail Hairell and Samantha Chapman all returned. There’s also Kate Sralla and Caroline Kaiser.

alvaro.montano@chron.com

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