Volleyball: Plano West aims for playoff run

The Plano West volleyball team has gone 25-5 so far this season and is ranked ninth in the state.

The team has a number of players to keep an eye on this year. Two in particular are Laura Jones and Katie Stebbins. Jones, a 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter, will be going to Baylor. Coach Brittany Bridge calls Jones a team leader and all-around strong player who has a monster block and hits a very heavy ball. Stebbins is a standout 6-foot-2 junior middle and an offensive leader.

On the defensive side, Shane Peters is the team’s libero.

“She passes nails, as well as defensively makes some amazing acrobatic plays on the floor,” Bridge said.

“I expect us to win district, but our district is always a battle,” Bridge said. “We should fair well in district and the playoffs in 2011.”

Inexperienced Keller Central in rebuilding mode

With only three players returning to the varsity team from last season, Keller Central is in a bit of a rebuilding phase. This varsity team is essentially last year’s junior varsity team. Returning players to the squad are junior Katy Vaughn and seniors Kassie Overstreet and Alyssa Ison. The young team will need to look to the leadership and experience of these three to be able to be effective.

“We are struggling,” coach Terri Kelso said. “We are doing the basic stuff well, but not getting the ball in the other side of the court effectively.”

Kelso was optimistic when talking about last Friday’s game against Justin Northwest. Her team had 56 digs and there were only three aces against them.

Richardson Pearce has potential to repeat in 10-4A

Richardson Pearce is another team trying to cope with player losses. The defending District 10-4A champs had eight girls graduate, but coach Jason Nicholson is excited about his squad and its potential.

“My philosophy has always been to play up rather than down, and by playing a tough preseason schedule I hope to speed the development of the team,” Nicholson said.

Rockwall-Heath and Highland Park will prove to be difficult competition in the up-for-grabs 10-4A.

Nicholson believes Pearce has the best player in the area in 6-foot-2 Shelby Sullivan, a Texas A&M commit who will undoubtedly make the Mustangs tough competition for opponents.