Volleyball: Cards set to open season
Since Ap Clarke became head volleyball coach at Bellaire, the Cardinals have been the elite program in the Houston Independent School District.
But success in the playoffs has proven elusive for Bellaire, which has had trouble making it past the second round. Last season, the Cardinals knocked off Cinco Ranch in the opener before being eliminated by Cy-Fair in five sets.
Coming off a 32-9 season and perfect 14-0 run through District 20-5A, the expectations are high once again, despite the fact that Bellaire must replace some talented players.
"We graduated some key seniors," Clarke said. "We've got to find some players to fill their shoes."
To gain experience, Clarke has scheduled several quality non-district opponents, including a road test at Fort Bend Austin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, in the opener. The Bulldogs are one of the top teams in District 23-5A.
ABOUT THE GAME
• Matchup: Bellaire Cardinals at Fort Bend Austin Bulldogs
• When: 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 9
• Where: Fort Bend Austin
• What's at stake: A victory over a playoff team is a great way to start the season. Bellaire, with several newcomers taking the court for the first time, have plenty to prove.
• Bellaire players to watch: MB Khourtni Fears, MB Jenelle Jordan, OH Miranda Rogers, S Reagan Creely.
• Fort Bend Austin players to watch: OH Savannah Myklebust, OH Courtney Walker, MB Molly Knewston, DS Natalie Dickson.
• Bellaire: The Cardinals are led by its 6-foot-2 middle blockers, Fears and Jordan. Fears, a senior, has already signed with LSU, while Jordan, a junior, made a verbal commitment to the University of California-Berkeley. Both were named to the Greater Houston Volleyball Coaches Association's Preseason Top 32.
• Fort Bend Austin: The Bulldogs, coached by Amy Cataline, are typically among the best in District 23-5A. Myklebust, a 6-footer, headlines Fort Bend Austin's powerful attack. She has already committed to SMU.
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