Though still young with just three seniors, over half of Sweetwater High School’s volleyball team will bring varsity experience into today’s season opener when the Lady Mustangs play host to Seminole.
The varsity match will tip off at 6:15 p.m. at Mustang Gym following junior varsity and freshman contests in both gyms that get underway at 5 p.m.
Sweetwater’s 10-member roster includes six players who saw action on the varsity in 2010. Coach Liz Miller is hoping that experience not only helps the Lady Mustangs improve on last year’s 11-28 record, but also contend for their first playoff berth in three years.
“There’s a very different feel about this team,” said Miller. “Our players are very unified, determined and focused. ...We’ll have to be a little more versatile, but nobody’s complaining.
“The practices have been great. I can’t say enough about how these girls have worked their tails off.”
Three of Sweetwater’s five juniors earned all-district recognition — middle blocker Kathleen Campbell, who made the first team; setter Suede Shirley, who earned second team honors; and outside hitter and defensive specialist Kendra Crosson, who was named the district’s newcomer of the year as a sophomore. The team’s other returning lettermen are senior outside hitter and setter Alicia Finn, who was all-district honorable mention; junior middle blocker and outside hitter Shelby Cason; and junior outside hitter and defensive specialist Kelsi Crosson, who is the twin sister of Kendra. Completing the roster are senior defensive specialist and libero Kinsey Browning; senior defensive specialist Allie Zavaleta; sophomore outside hitter Taylor McPherson; and sophomore middle blocker Larissa Locklar.
Sweetwater plays in a very tough Class 3A district, as first Brownwood and then Wylie made it to the state tournament in the past two years, and Big Spring and Snyder are also playoff con-tenders. But Miller is hoping her team’s hard work will get the Lady Mustangs back to the postseason. “I’m excited,” she said.