Volleyball enters District play; prepares to face Austin High Sept. 27 at home

Libero+junior+Sydney+Fowler+jumps+in+front+of+senior+Megan+Mellenbruch+to+make+a+pass+at+the+game+at+Akins+on+Sept.+17.++%22Volleyball+is+a+game+about+mental+toughness%2C%22+Sydney+said.+%22Every+point+you+have+to+know+what+you%27re+going+to+do+before+you+do+it+%E2%80%94+you+have+to+anticipate+the+play.%22+The+Lady+Chaps+won+their+first+District+game+against+Akins+in+three+sets.+

Libero junior Sydney Fowler jumps in front of senior Megan Mellenbruch to make a pass at the game at Akins on Sept. 17. "Volleyball is a game about mental toughness," Sydney said. "Every point you have to know what you're going to do before you do it — you have to anticipate the play." The Lady Chaps won their first District game against Akins in three sets.

After winning in three games at Akins Sept. 17 to open District play, the varsity volleyball team took on Lake Travis Sept. 20. The Lady Chaps won the first two games, 25-19 and 25-22, however they dropped the next three games 21-25, 23-25 and 14-16.

“We started the LT match with few errors and took the first two games,” hitter senior Meagan Mellenbruch said. “In the following games our errors cost us and we couldn’t pull it out in the end. We will learn and grow from this challenging match and will be looking forward to the next time we play  them in our house.”

The girls will have a chance at redemption later in the season when they play the Lady Cavs Oct. 15 in round two. Lake Travis has always been some of the best competition in the District and, according to coach Al Bennett, probably will be the hardest. However, when the team enters the playoffs, it becomes a different story. Last year the Lady Chaps went 12-0 in District, but in the third round of playoffs, they suffered an Area loss to A&M Consolidated.

“This year’s team is a lot different than last year’s,” setter senior Cece Burbach said. “If we continue to play like we have and improve our defense, we will go far. We love to go to five games but we need to learn to win in three.”

Prior to District play, the team played three tournaments. In the first, Pearland, they placed 11th. This tournament was special because, It offers some of the best competition from around the state from El Paso, to Dallas to Houston.”

In the second tournament, Fraulein Fest, the team placed fourth, and in the most recent, the Texas Mizuno Showdown, they placed second.

“Playing in tournaments does take up a lot of time, but they help us prepare for the season because the competition is so high,” Cece said. “They’re fun because you bond with your teammates.”

Meagan and Cece have come a long way to get to their final year on varsity.

“Varsity is the best of the best when it comes to high school volleyball,” Meagan said. “At the varsity level there is significantly more skill required, because the game is more intense.”

As the girls contemplate their future in volleyball, some are considering playing at their prospective colleges. Corinne Grandcolas has committed to Abilene Christian University, Amelia Mouw will play for Colorado College, Molly Smith will play for Colgate and Kat Turman has committed to Texas State. Meagan has been looking at the possibility of walking on at Texas State, while Cece thinks that she will play recreationally. Meagan and Cece both had words of advice for the freshman and JV girls looking to play varsity.

“Work hard and have fun,” Cece said. “Westlake volleyball goes fast.”

“Always give 110 percent during practice and games,” Meagan said. “You should practice like you are going to play in a game.  Last but not least, always remember it’s a great day to be a Chaparral!”