Bees open volleyball season with win over Bridgeport

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune
Stephenville High School senior middle blocker Jaydi Griffin (14) slams the ball during Tuesday's season-opening volleyball match, a sweep of Bridgeport.

Like one classic hit song says, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing.”

The Stephenville High School’s Honeybees opened their 2020 volleyball season Tuesday night in Gandy gym with a “real thing” victory over Bridgeport, 25-19, 25-10, 25-18.

SHS head coach Shay Douglas said she was pleased with her team’s overall play against the Class 4A Division II squad, nicknamed the “Sissies” — but not so much with their first scrimmages that were played the previous Friday and Saturday.

No scores were kept in the scrimmages, but following the Bridgeport win Douglas said, “I’m pretty pleased, actually, considering how we played in the scrimmages. It was a little rough, but I think we responded to this week’s practice.”

It marked the return to the lineup from injuries that had sidelined two key starters — seniors Alee McClendon, who had surgery during basketball season last year, and Jaydi Griffin, who missed almost all of her junior year of volleyball.

The Honeybees did what they needed to do in handling the Sissies’ big weapon, 6-2 outside hitter Zoe Hall, who is committed to play volleyball for TCU next year.

“Keeping her out of their offense helped us on the defensive side,” Douglas said. “She is a dominant player.”

Jaylee Matthews, a junior returning letterman who plays setter and outside hitter for the Bees, said she knows Hall pretty well because they played on the same summer club team, which was based in Decatur.

“We were trying to keep the ball away from her,” Matthews said, “to protect our setters.”

Matthews agreed that the Honeybees played much better Tuesday than they did in the weekend scrimmages.

“I really think playing in front of people gave us a bigger drive,” Matthews said. “We don’t want to disappoint people. We played way more as a team.”

The Honeybees were scheduled to play Friday in Wimberley against Marion and also Wimberley High School. Today their schedule shows them in Canyon Lake taking on La Vernia (11:30 a.m.) and Canyon Lake (1 p.m.).

“We still have a ways to go,” Douglas said. “We have a lot of aspects we need to improve on, but this was definitely a good starting spot.”

Next on the schedule is an Aug. 18 home matchup against Graham. The varsity match is set for a 6 p.m. start (JV and 9th grade teams at 5 p.m.).

Senior libero Cali Carter makes a save deep in the court for Stephenville Tuesday during the Honeybees' season-opening straight-sets volleyball win over Bridgeport in Gandy Gym.