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Bees meeting volleyball goals, step by step

Mark Wilson

Step by step, inch by inch, the state-ranked Stephenville High School Honeybees are hitting their stride as they reach the midway point in the District 6-4A volleyball schedule.

Coach Shay Douglas’s Bees were tied for first place with Brownwood in the five-school district at 3-0 entering Tuesday’s (Oct. 6) showdown in Brownwood. Gatesville is 2-2, and Glen Rose and Lampasas are 0-3.

Stephenville’s 25-6, 25-8, 25-16 victory over Lampasas last Friday improved the Bees’ district mark to 3-0 — all in straight sets.

As the Bees take one game at a time, they have several goals in mind.

The win over Lampasas gave the Bees another 20-win season. Another goal is to not lose a set in district play, repeat as the district champions — and of course go as far as possible into the playoffs.

The Bees were 8-0 in district last season, and finished with their second-best volleyball season record ever, at 35-10. That 2019 squad was eliminated from postseason play just one win shy of making it to the regional tournament.

SHS got off to a great start to the 2020 season, and at one point was ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 4A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association before a couple of losses resulted in a drop in the standings. The Bees now are ranked 13th in the state for the second week in a row, although the rankings are not something Douglas even considers.

Douglas said that the Bees not only are in a good winning groove, they also are showing improvement with each game.

“It’s probably a combination of both,” Douglas said, noting that the players have raised their performance level as the importance of the games has elevated. “We’re playing for back-to-back district titles, and for a good playoff seed.

“I do think we’re starting to get back in a groove.”

And trying to stay perfect in district sets is a point of pride among the Bees.

“That’s a big deal,” Douglas said, with the Brownwood game in mind. “They don’t want to have a set taken off of them. This game’s (at Brownwood) is big.”

Another plus this season is that, when needed, the team’s quality of depth has not let them down to where it’s a “fluid transition” to players who come in off the bench.

Douglas said she still wants her squad to improve the consistency in its serve-receive and serve-to-pass game.

“They’re just ready to go. They are on a mission,” Douglas said. “They want to prove themselves. They are taking one game at a time. Ultimately what matters is being the last team playing.”

The next game for the Honeybees will be at home in Gandy Gym, Tuesday, Oct. 9 versus Gatesville (5:30 p.m.).