Lady Tigers prove ‘durability’ early in the season

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If any of Sealy High School’s sports teams are taking the words “hit the ground running” to heart, it’s the Lady Tigers volleyball team.

In Coach Kimberly Svien’s first year at the helm, the Lady Tigers have played 10 games in just five days. The team started the season off being swept by Magnolia Aug. 7 then went on to play a doubleheader against Fulshear and Flatonia, defeating both.

The Lady Tigers had two days off before competing in the Columbus Varsity Classic Volleyball Tournament. They defeated Brazos in their opening match of the tournament but dropped the next two. The first was against Fulshear the same day and then against LaGrange the following morning.

The Lady Tigers closed out pool play with a win against Schulenburg in just two sets. The two wins placed them into the top “gold” bracket where they faced Industrial in the opening match.

The team fell to Industrial but managed to win the following match against Terry in the consolation bracket. Tournament play ended for Sealy when the team lost to Schulenburg in the consolation final.

Svien said the team’s durability through the hectic start to their season was something that the team had prepared for before their season began.

“We had a pretty brutal conditioning test that they had to go through during two-a-days,” Svien said. “They’ve been conditioned and we do a lot of fast-paced stuff so I think they’re up to the challenge.”

The preseason was also a busy one for the Lady Tigers as they took on Needville and Cinco Ranch in scrimmages on Aug. 4 and 5. The freshman and junior varsity teams traveled to Schulenburg the next day for tournament play as well.

Svien said a big reason the team has been able to withstand the full schedule is because of the shared experience between the players.

“We have seven seniors and they do a great job already in the leadership role,” Svien said. “They respect one another and so the constructive criticism is generally well received but all.”

One of the seniors who took on the leadership role in a unique way is Molly Dittert. The setter was still recovering from hand surgery during the preseason but still found ways to contribute to the team off the court.

“Even though she wasn’t able to participate, she still came to our team camp and learning the drills and terminology,” Svien said. “She would help run center practice so we could have more eyes in more areas so she took on a coaching role.”  

Dittert was able to return in the first match of the season for the Lady Tigers and has had 20 assists or more in four of the Columbus tournament games.

The team’s break after the tournament in Columbus is a short one as they participate in another tournament hosted by Schulenburg starting Aug. 17. For Svien, yet another away game is perhaps the biggest hurdle the team will have to clear to begin the season.

“It’s just how the schedule lined up but we are on the road basically all the way to the end of August,” Svien said. “So not having the home base there definitely doesn’t help but I’m expecting them to be able to overcome it.”

The Lady Tigers are heading into the Schulenburg Varsity Tournament with a 5-5 record and will play the school again after the tournament Aug. 22. 

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