For the 44th year that Bellville High School will field a volleyball team, Susan Brewer will serve as the head coach but this year may look the most different with schedule changes and guidelines put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“When the (University Interscholastic League) came out first and said, ‘We’re going to play, 1A through 4A will start on (Aug. 3),’ I said, ‘Oh my gosh how exciting,” Brewer said in a phone interview the last week of July. “Then the next thing I saw was that 5A and 6A were going to start later. First, I scrambled to get into some lower-classification tournaments but then all of a sudden – bam. They came back out with new information; no tournaments at all.”
Brewer weathered the storm and adjusted to the changes and will look to do the same in order to keep safety the priority with the team.
“Everything is going to seem different and look different but we can make those adjustments,” she said. “We just want to make sure that our players, our kids and our teams stay safe in this uncertain time. That’s number one that we want to play volleyball safely.”
The Brahmanettes will be competing against some different teams in a new district following the most recent realignment of the UIL but Brewer said there’s familiarity with all of the teams that will make up District 24-4A this year.
“I think our new district is going to be exciting. I’m glad we’re all a little closer. Over time, I think we have been in a district with all of them at some point or another,” Brewer said. “We always like to have Sealy there 12 miles down the court. In 1996, we played them in the state tournament so that was a very unique situation, but Sealy and Bellville have always been very similar in their program and the kids so I’m excited that they’re going to be back in the district.”
El Campo, Navasota, Royal, and Wharton will all also be formidable opponents for the squad in Bellville that although took some major losses due to graduation, seems locked and reloaded for another run at the postseason.
“Graduation did take a toll on us. We had a fantastic senior class … those kids were just really such a tremendous group and now they’re all going to move forward and I’m happy for them,” Brewer said. “But our team that is returning, they’re going to be extremely competitive. I know they’re in very good shape right now and they’re very anxious to get back on the court.”
Some of the returning members from last year’s district championship team include outside hitters Sadie McKay and Lexi Higgins, setters Madison Morgan and Jordan Schroeder as well as libero Daelyn Warmke who is fresh off two seasons of over 1,000 digs. They’ll look to put all the pieces together for another run at a district crown but not without nailing down the basics first, Brewer said.
“We’re going to be working a lot on serving and passing. Can’t run anything unless you can do those two things,” Brewer said. “I think we try to pay a lot of attention to detail in Bellville and my philosophy over time has been fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. You can’t run something fancy until you can do it right so that’s our big focus.”