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County teams enjoy success during first month of the season

August 30, 2011

Last Tuesday, juniors Kaylee Purcell #3 and Haley Armstrong #12 get up in the air to make the block for Borger against Amarillo Highland Park. PHOTO BY MICHELLE BERRY

This week, high school volleyball teams will have been on the court for a month. For the Hutchinson County teams, August has seen its shares of ups and downs. However, all three teams are poised to go into district play looking good and ready compete for a playoff berth.
Since the sluggish start to the season against Bushland and Canyon, the Borger Lady Bulldogs have looked good on the court in sweeps Hereford, Amarillo River Road, Amarillo Highland Park, Perryton, West Texas High and Sanford-Fritch.
Borger Head Volleyball Coach Michael Littlejohn is pleased with the team’s effort saying, “I am really liking how this team is coming around faster than I first thought we might. Our offense is coming around pretty nicely but our defense is what I am impressed with the most right now.” Littlejohn added, “Our blockers are doing a good job as well as are our defensive players on the backrow. We are starting to be where we are supposed to be a lot more often than we were just a couple of weeks ago.”
Currently at 7-5 for the season, Littlejohn understands his team has a lot of work ahead of them and a tough schedule, including Monahans, Randall, and Amarillo High, that will test the young players. However the tough matches coming up will also let the group see how close they are to being where they want to be come playoff time. “Littlejohn said, “Of course we are not near where we need to be for district but we are getting better and better each time out. With this young of a group, experience wise we are going to have our ups and downs. But as of now we are having a few more ups than downs.”
Pampa currently holds a top ten ranking and is still considered the favorite to win the district title. However, Littlejohn believes his team should be in the mix for the district crown saying, “This group has the potential to do some good things once district play rolls around and possibly do some damage in the playoffs if we stay healthy and keep working everyday.”
Over in Stinnett, the West Texas High Lady Comanches are still adjusting to new head coach Kathleen Patterson. However, the adjustment hasn’t took too big of a toll on the court, as the Lady Comanches currently hold an 8-7 record.
In regards to the progression she has seen on the court, Patterson said, “Our strategy to hit has improved so much. Since our first match with San Jacinto, we were a great defensive team and now we are becoming an offensive threat to many teams. Changing that thought process has cost our team matches due to errors. However, we are becoming more solid and consistent.”
Patterson credits how quick the team has picked the changes to their hard work saying, “The work ethic and dedication to their school sets an example that many schools need to learn. On the court, the girls continue to improve their defense and the hearts of the girls have been amazing.”
The goal for the Lady Comanches is to go undefeated in district play, which is a goal Patterson believes is in reach for her team. Patterson said, “Our goal is to remain undefeated in district and advance in playoffs which will require more consistent play for our offense.”
Through the first month of play, the Sanford-Fritch Lady Eagles can be considered one of the surprise teams of Texas Panhandle by holding a 5-4 record that includes a second place finish in the Sanford-Fritch Tournament.
The Lady Eagles are part of one of the toughest 2A volleyball districts in the state. However, the Lady Eagles appear to have a talented enough team to battled for one of the three playoff spots this season.
The Lady Bulldogs will next travel to Amarillo on Saturday to take on Randall and Monahans in a triangular starting at 1:00 p.m.
Tonight, the Lady Eagles host Perryton with the junior varsity starting at 5:00 p.m. followed by the varsity. The Lady Comanches travel to take on Childress with the junior varsity beginning at 5:00 p.m. followed by the varsity.

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