Starters return for Sealy volleyball

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After struggling through the first portion of the schedule without three big-time starters from last year’s team, the Sealy volleyball team finally got those impact players back last week, helping the Lady Tigers in contests with La Grange and Snook.

Sealy head coach Kim Boyd was ecstatic to have Ally Dickens, Brylie Need and Breanna Brandes back full time, but she added the chemistry wasn’t quite there right away.

“Got our starters back on Tuesday and they got to play together for the first time since last year and it was not as smooth as it could have been but it was nice to have them back,” she said simply.

“Dickens is a huge vocal leader and it’s a big help to have her directing traffic on the court, Nedd last year was our kill leader so it’s huge to have one of our biggest threats back and Brandes has been back for about a week and a half now and having last year’s setter of the district to run our offense is a key to our success,” Boyd added.

Nedd picked right back up from where she left off, leading the Lady Tigers with 10 kills while Brandes and Dickens were right behind her with seven in a four-set loss to the Lady Leopards last Tuesday.

That led Sealy to a matchup with “a beast of a team” in the College Station Cougars in Boyd’s words and although that contest ended in three sets, the coach liked what she saw out of her team.

“We for sure gave them a run for their money,” she said of the host Cougars. “We were ahead at some points, gave up a lead and had to chase and although we only went three sets with them, we went 25-22 with them in the second set so that was a big deal. We played hard and we needed to see a team of that caliber heading into district.”

That district schedule is coming up quick with this Friday marking the start of that slate with the Wharton Tigers coming to town for a 6 p.m. match.

Before that, though, is the non-district finale with a Snook Blue Jay team that Boyd may not have the whole book on, but she knows her team is ready to go.

“Don’t know a ton on Snook but in past years they’ve been a strong smaller school and we can take no team lightly,” she said. “Like we talked about after College Station, we’re going to play hard with the mindset that we’re going to compete big.”

That thought process will lead the Lady Tigers headlong into the showdown with Wharton who may have some size but that’s nothing new.

“Going into Wharton, we’ve seen them in the past,” Boyd said. “They have some taller girls who are athletes which will be nothing new for Ally who had a triple block against her nearly the whole time against College Station and still finished with the most kills on the team.”

Nedd finished tied with Dickens for that team-leading eight-kill performance where Dickens also led the team with three blocks of her own. Boyd added those outputs, on top of how well

the back row played against the Cougars, kept the Lady Tigers in the game and will continue to do so as they embark upon their district schedule.

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