Friday and Saturday scrimmages against four opponents helped the Stephenville Honeybees prepare for the start of the 2007 volleyball season this week.

Stephenville hosted Granbury and Abilene Cooper Friday at SHS, before traveling to Birdville Saturday to take on BHS and Northwest.

“I saw some improvement, and I think the girls are getting comfortable with each other on the court,” Head Volleyball Coach Fran Metzger said. “I also saw some things we need to work on.”

Metzger listed defense and footwork in the back court as two of the areas where improvements are needed. Overall, she felt the scrimmages were beneficial because they helped to heighten the Bees’ court sense early in the year. Metzger is pleased with her team’s focus and intensity, and believes the chemistry is becoming a positive.

Particularly impressive in scrimmage play were two sophomores who had no varsity experience prior to the weekend.

“I thought they looked impressive,” Metzger said of setter Christina Murphy and Bailey Williams, who is splitting time in the middle.

Sage Lasater was also cited for her effective defensive play in the center of the back court, and Allyssa Parham was noted for performing well on the left side.

At the center of much of the action is senior hitter MaKayla Elliott.

“She does a good job hitting at the net,” Metzger said of Elliott. “She’s a lot healthier than last year, and we hope to keep her healthy all season.”

Burleson visits Stephenville Tuesday in the season opener. Metzger says the Elks have been big at the net in the past, and do a good job of shooting the ball outside.

“We like to shut the middle off, and we have to be ready to hurry back outside,” Metzger said. That will be the primary focus during practice Monday.

Both Stephenville freshman teams, the JV and varsity will be in action Tuesday, with games slated to begin at 5 p.m. Varsity action should start at approximately 6:30 p.m.