Sports notebook: Kingwood tops Atascocita in first district contest

August 29, 2018

Kingwood really needed this one.

After struggling to scrounge up success in non-district, the Mustangs, under first-year coach Christie Mewis, opened District 22-6A play with a confidence-boosting sweep of rival Atascocita.

They rolled 25-11, 25-20, 25-16 Friday at home - sending them to just 4-12 overall.

“It was a huge win for us,” said Mewis, who replaced retired coach Ashley Earhart. “Not only was it against our district rival, but we needed it.

“We needed that reassurance that we were going to be OK after such a tough preseason.”

Mewis, the long-time Klein Oak coach, inherited the non-district slate from Earhart.

The strength of that schedule made Mewis’ Kingwood start tougher than expected, but she said it was necessary, too.

“You have to be able to go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the Houston area in order to advance in district and the playoffs,” Mewis said. “So we played some really tough teams in the preseason.

“But what I was proud of with these kids was, the game was fast, but if you look at the scores, they definitely weren’t ridiculous and we really competed and stayed in the games with some of these tougher teams, which built character for us and helped us see the type of team that we could be.”

Still, they lost a lot early, which can do long-term damage if not managed properly.

“Yes, losing can set a negative mental state, but we try to keep it positive with the fact that you’re competing with the top teams,” Mewis said. “So as long as you’re giving 100-percent effort against some of these teams out here, it’s not losing. It’s just the scoreboard’s not finishing in our favor.”

It finished in their favor Friday night.

The Mustangs struggled to sync their attack through the first half of the year while working new setters Emily Colby and Jordan Rambo into a 6-2 with senior Camryn Wisenbaker. But they found their stride against Atascocita, with Wisenbaker and Rambo combining for 42 assists in three sets.

Brea Burrell led the way with 12 kills, Peyton Shamp supplied 10, Jackie Taylor seven and Sloane Fitzhenry six.

“Brea Burrell is coming off a USA A1 national team, and then with Camden Gray, Jackie Taylor, Sloane Fitzhenry and Peyton Shamp, we have some big swingers out there,” Mewis said. “What we were working on is our ball control and being able to get the balls to these hitters … and everybody’s really bought in and done a good job of doing their part to be able to utilize our powerful offense.”

Burrell, a junior, leads the team with 136 kills.

Shamp, a senior captain, is the all-around leader, with 112 kills, 146 digs and 306 service receptions.

She registered 20 digs and 14 serve-receives Friday.

“We’ve been working on not having so many unforced errors and cleaning up and communicating, and the gym atmosphere was huge,” Mewis said. “The Kingwood support, with the student body, (and) the coaches who were there, made an awesome environment for them, and they clicked.”

Atascocita Eagles edge K-Park in tennis

The team tennis season is in full swing, too, and Atascocita improved to 4-2 with a win Friday at Kingwood Park.

The Eagles also have wins over Spring Woods, Klein Collins and MacArthur.

Their losses are against Deer Park and Oak Ridge in back-to-back matchups, both by a tight 10-9 score.

Atascocita finishes the non-district portion of its schedule with Klein Cain on Aug. 28 and Conroe on Aug. 31 before beginning district play at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, at rival Kingwood.

Summer Creek Bulldogs bag opening win

The Summer Creek volleyball squad also started district with a win, topping Pasadena Memorial in straight sets, 25-19, 25-12, 25-21, Friday at home behind senior Kendall Dutton’s big game.

The senior hitter racked up a season-high 20 kills, giving her 188 on the season.

Freshman Alaryss Medina led the defense with 25 digs, and sophomore Bailey Bryant supplied 26 assists.

Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer who can be reached at jasonrmcdaniel@outlook.com.

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