Klein, Spring area volleyball teams in midst of district play
There will be a real battle for the top four spots in District 15-6A. Unfortunately, some good teams might miss out.
The new-look 15-6A brings with it the four regional semifinalist from a year ago in Klein, Klein Oak, College Park and The Woodlands.
There’s also Klein Collins, Oak Ridge and Conroe.
The Bearkats finished 29-4 a year ago, ranked No. 9 overall in Class 6A. The regional semifinalists were first in the old 15-6A, going unbeaten 14-0, and also return four Division I caliber players.
“We have a great group of girls that works hard each and every day to become better players,” Klein head coach Kate Zora said.
The Bearkats are currently in second place in one of the toughest districts in Texas.
“We are just working to becoming better each day both strategically and mentally,” Zora said.
Klein has a blend of old leadership, five seniors that have been with the group since they were sophomores and young talent in two freshmen and four sophomores that are learning every day the Klein volleyball way.
“They push one another to elevate their game,” Zora said. “This group is special because they are sisters on and off the court to one another and can hold one another accountable on the court and off with respect.”
The Bearkats return Ashlen Jennings, Baylee Laskoskie, Nena Mbonu and Devan Taylor. Klein will rely on ball control, defense and attacking with speed.
However, the postseason is no sure thing in the new 15-6A.
After tournament season, the Bearkats turned their focus onto district which is where they are right now, constantly improving.
“We look only at the game in front of us,” Zora said. “We analyze film, set our strategy and then try to execute our game plan. We work hard each day to focus only on the next step trying to play smarter each and every game.”
Both Klein Collins and Klein Oak also finished in the top four in 15-6A last year.
The Panthers also made it all the way to the fourth round of the playoffs and the Tigers to the first round.
Klein Oak returns top setter Adel Gage and Klein Collins will bring back Sammy Normand.
Klein Cain and Klein Forest will be good, but just happen to be in a superlative district.
“With five top 25 state ranked teams in our district from last season and our entire regional tournament in one district, we know that each night we need to be prepared,” Zora said. “Each and every team must come ready to compete and play their best.”
Klein is excited for that challenge and know that in order for them to work towards being the best team they must play the best teams.
“Through adversity and challenge, we become stronger,” Zora said. “As our season mantra states, we are going to embrace the grind.
“We are going to continue to keep working hard to be our best when we play our last game. We want to make sure we are playing our best volleyball in November.”
The Spring Lions were regarded by many as the squad to beat in District 16-6A entering the 2018 season.
Spring, 16-6A undefeated district champions, are poised to defend the title with plenty of talent coming back.
Senior Travel Morris and junior Latiana Tua’one are the primary players.
Tua’one was selected first-team, all-district and Morris was named last year’s Outstanding Hitter. There’s also Skyy Munoz.
In district, the Lions went 14-0 before losing in the first round of the postseason to Klein Collins.
Westfield placed second in district last season. They finished 12-2 and also lost in the first round.
The Mustangs lost a lot of good players due to graduation. The returning players will have to step up.
The lone senior is Sydny Benton. Mia Goffney also returns, she was the only freshman on the team a year ago.
The sophomore and Benton will lead a rejuvenated team in hopes of returning to the playoffs.
Dekaney’s program will try to rebuild for the future and grow players.