With a near five month break in UIL sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last week’s season openers of high school volleyball season took center stage all around the state.
Coaches, players and fans alike could not wait to see their teams back in action representing their hometowns.
Burnet’s opener took place Tuesday evening in Bulldog gym and turned out to be quite the battle between the Lady Dawgs and the visiting Lady Billies. The match went to five games, which eventually had to be decided in extra-points, and Burnet’s opener lasted over two hours.
“It was a long but rewarding evening,” said Lady Dawg head coach Crystal Shipley. “It was so great to get back to seeing our kids compete. Even with all the COVID guidelines and wearing masks, the girls came out strong and were excited to be on the court.”
The Lady Dawgs looked great right from the start against Fredericksburg. Burnet jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-14 set one win, followed by a 25-22 win in round two.
Unfortunately, some untimely errors in the third set gave the Lady Billies some momentum. That eventually carried them to two-straight wins, 25-15 and 25-22 to knot the match at two-all.
The fifth set was extremely exciting and had fans on both sides of the court fully engaged. Set five is won when a team reaches 15-points scored and ahead by at least two. This game five was tied at 14-14, 15-15, 16-16, and 17- 17 before Fredericksburg finished their comeback with a 19-17 win for the match.
“We came out strong in the first two sets against Fredericksburg. The third set was rough, and we had a lot of errors that gave Fredericksburg the momentum going into the final two sets. The fifth set was point-for-point, but Fredericksburg eventually took the win,” said Shipley.
In a dual match setting Fredericksburg and Blanco took the court next and Blanco beat the Lady Billies in four.
Burnet then returned to the court for a late-night contest against Blanco that stretched past 11 p.m. The first match was a great game between Burnet and Blanco with the Lady Panthers just edging out the home team, 25-23.
After losing that set Burnet came back fired-up taking three-straight, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22 to claim their first victory of the 2020 season. Each team in the dual-meet finished the evening with 1-1 records.
“We made some adjustments and had some rest time to recuperate before taking the court against Blanco. Our rotations just clicked, and we found a rhythm to pull off the win in four sets,” said Shipley after Burnet’s second match.
At the sub-varsity levels Burnet’s volleyball teams are also playing well. The JV girls have opened the season with a 4-0 record, beating Fredericksburg 25-22, 25-14, and Blanco 25-18, 25-7 in their first dual outing; followed by back-to-back wins over Johnson City one and two, 25-12, 25-13, and 25-11, 25-15 in a dual on Friday.
The freshman girls split their first dual with a win over Fredericksburg, 26-24, 25- 15; and a loss to Blanco 24- 26, 25-23, 25-19. On Friday night they won both matches against Johnson City to boost their overall record to 3-1.
“Coach Kelley, Coach Wooten and I are beyond proud of the girls for all the hard work this past week. All three teams have already learned a lot, but we know there is a lot of volleyball left and I have no doubt these young ladies are destined for greatness,” said Shipley.
The varsity girls played in a dual on Saturday at Johnson City. All three teams were at Wimberley on Tuesday and they will be home this Friday, Aug. 28 when they host Fredericksburg.
The girls would love to have your support, but tickets can not be purchased at the gate. To purchase your tickets to a Lady Dawg volleyball match, log on to the Burnet CISD website, go to athletics under the departments tab, and follow the directions from there. Burnet’s girls will also be home on Sept. 1 when they host Llano.