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Volleyball teams prep for weekend slate of strong competition

As several area volleyball teams start their seasons this weekend, Nederland takes on Bridge City at home and Port Neches-Groves continues at Kingwood Park, starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, Sabine Pass will visit Evadale for a 4:30 p.m. Friday match, and Port Arthur Memorial travels to Goose Creek Memorial at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Nederland head coach Allie Crommett said she was pleased with how her Bulldogs performed against Manvel and Dayton in scrimmages Saturday and Tuesday.
Crommett has nine returners from last year’s squad, but said the scrimmages gave her a chance to see what some newcomers bring to the team.

“We have only been able to play against each other, so it was a nice change of pace,” Crommett said. “Manvel has a lot of really dynamic players. It was good to go up against a bigger block and some harder hitters and see what we can do.”

While Crommett said she has been impressed with her team’s defense, she added there is more room for improvement on the offensive front.

“For us, because we are not the biggest team, we have to choose better shots,” she said. “Our tallest girl is about 5 feet, 11 inches. In our district, that isn’t too bad, but for us to be successful in the playoffs we have to play smarter. We don’t always have to get a kill. We just have to work on things that make us a little harder to hang with.”

The Bulldogs coach brought up four players who were on the junior varsity team last year.

“Our setter doesn’t have any varsity experience,” Crommett said. “She was awesome against Dayton. She looked great and didn’t miss a beat on defense and put our hitters in a position to have a chance.”

Crommett said Bridge City has a young team that has played together for a while.

“They were a young team last year and they were just learning to jell,” she said. “I think they only have one senior. They are really starting to find their footing and seeing who is their go-to hitter. They have a really good middle blocker and a really good outside.”

Crommett said her team does not have a high success rate against good middles and she looks forward to seeing her players step up to the challenge.

On Tuesday, Sabine Pass defeated Burkeville 3-0 (25-19, 25-10, 25-21).

Sophomore Charnel Jones had five kills to go along with a block and a dig for Sabine Pass.

Junior Yainn Zuniga had two kills, three aces and five digs.

Junior Nevaeh Jones earned three kills, three aces and three digs.

“My juniors and sophomores killed,” Sabine Pass head coach Andie Myers said. “Nevaeh made some amazing saves and Kayla Dominick put on a show. They all did amazing. I am so proud.”

The win brought the Sharks to 3-0 in District 24-2A play.

Port Neches-Groves started its season with a 3-1 loss to Diboll Tuesday.