By ERIC VICCARO
The Saint Jo High School volleyball team advanced to the bi-district round for the second straight season in 2016.
With most of the team back, save for graduated Sheridan Stiteler, the Lady Panthers seem poised to make some noise.
“I think there’s more excitement than last year,” said Charlie Hamilton Pittman, set for her second season leading Saint Jo. “Last year, I got my foot in the door as coach. I think we are going in the right direction.”
Bryson eliminated Saint Jo during the bi-district round in four games, and the Panthers finished with a 12-27 mark. They were 5-9 in District 2A-10, tied with Collinsville.
Two-a-day practices will begin on Aug. 1, the first allowable date for training sessions as set by the University Interscholastic League.
But, the players have already been putting in plenty of work with Bowie’s T.G.I.F. volleyball league.
First-team all-district selection Charity Brawner has been playing club volleyball. Alyssa Hennessey is another returning first-team all-district player. Promising freshman Hannah Reyling was named best attacker at the Tarleton State University camp in June.
Saint Jo will participate in a scrimmage at Gold-Burg in Stoneburg on Aug. 4. The Lady Panthers will play both Alvord and Perrin-Whitt.
The season opener is set for “The Dome” as Saint Jo plays host to Petrolia. The Lady Panthers continue eating home cooking with their own tournament from Aug. 10-12.
Hamilton Pittman reported the tournament will feature the following schools this year: Savoy, S&S Consolidated (Sadler), district foe Collinsville, Electra, Perrin-Whitt, Graford, Muenster Sacred Heart, Chico and Alvord. Read more in the July 12 Bowie News.
Saint Jo’s Alyssa Hennessey plays at the net during the Conference 1A-Region III volleyball players versus Bryson here in Bowie. Hennessey was a first-team all-district pick in 2016. (News file photo by Dani Blackburn)