Volleyball: Familiar foe up for Dobie
Dobie and Baytown Sterling, longtime foes who renew acquaintances on Tuesday, were fringe playoff teams last season, when both squeaked into the playoffs in fourth place and lost in bi-district.
Both are looking to improve on those results this season, but the Lady Longhorns still have a lot to prove since they'll be young once again, with several key underclassmen in the starting lineup.
The difference, however, is that, while the Lady 'Horns will be young in years, they won't be so sorely lacking in experience. They return nine varsity players as opposed to just three last season.
That gives Dobie coach Joe Sabatell hope that his team will improve this season, starting with a win over Sterling, which beat them last season, and, with a little luck, ending with a District 22-5A title.
"Deer Park has everybody back, so they'll be the favorite in district," Sabatell said. "And we want to be second, or even try to catch Deer Park sleeping and split with them.
"We hope for a district championship every year."
ABOUT THE MATCH
• Matchup: Dobie vs. Baytown Sterling
• When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16
• Where: Dobie High School
• What's at stake: The Lady Longhorns will be looking for a little revenge on a Sterling squad that handed them a four-set loss on the road last season. They're also looking to cement their plan of attack for district, where they hope to contend for a championship.
• Dobie players to watch: MB Bre'Shaun Franklin, OH Courtney Franklin, S Selena Munoz, S Lauren Sanchez
• Sterling players to watch: OH/S Raegan Guidry, MB Lillian Carroll, OH/S Brooke Johnson
• Dobie: Sabatell expects a strong season if his two most experienced players can contribute. Senior defensive specialist/libero Ceci Gonzalez tore her anterior cruciate ligament during the softball season last spring and isn't expected back until late October, and senior right-side hitter Kristen Stolicki tore her ACL in the team's season opener last year, forcing her to miss the entire season. She's expected to be fully healthy this year. … Dobie lost to 21-5A champion La Porte in the bi-district playoffs last year.
• Sterling: The Lady Rangers finished behind La Porte, North Shore and Channelview in District 21-5A last season. As the fourth-seeded team from their district, they drew 22-5A champion Deer Park in the first round and fell 25-12, 25-18, 25-21. … Sterling defeated Dobie 25-18, 19-25, 25-16, 25-18 on Aug. 17 at home last season. Guidry led Sterling with 14 kills.
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