Lady ‘Jackets open with success in tournament

Posted 8/19/21

Lady Jacket volleyball in 2021 is going to be just fine. Three close losses to kick off the Tyler Invitational – against Van, Longview and Gladewater – are nothing to be concerned …

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Lady ‘Jackets open with success in tournament

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Lady Jacket volleyball in 2021 is going to be just fine. Three close losses to kick off the Tyler Invitational – against Van, Longview and Gladewater – are nothing to be concerned about. 

The Lady Jackets have all the components necessary to have a stellar season. Those attributes are a service game which can stall opponents’ offenses, strong net play, solid court awareness and a proper perspective on the game. 

What are missing are those volleyball traits which only come with more time: how to finish an opponent, how to be less predictable on the attack, how to better judge angles and how to anticipate an opponent’s intentions. 

All those traits will yet be significantly improved this season, as long as the Lady Jackets keep their mental discipline. That will be the key to the 2021 campaign.

In the opening matches last Thursday, Mineola mounted significant comebacks to challenge both Van and Longview. 

On Friday against Gladewater, the Lady Jackets recovered from a disjointed game one, which they dropped 16-25. They took a close second game 25-21, but fell in the tiebreaker 13-15

Most notably from the Gladewater match was the strength of the Lady Jackets’ service game. Kenleigh Aguirre, Kloey Garcia and Shylah Kratzmeyer appeared to have gauged in on their services, and although only a handful of aces were produced, their services kept the Gladewater offense on their heels.

Jocelyn Whitehead was the clear “go to” striker for the Mineola offense, while timely offensive contributions by Olivia Hughes, Gracie Finley and Kratzmeyer hinted at a more multi-faceted offense to come.

The defensive effort, position and fielding game was well on its way to district form.

In possibly the best Lady Jacket sequence of the tourney, Mineola won game two against Gladewater with scores on a Hughes kill, a Finley block, two Aguirre aces and a Mylee Fischer block. 

The Tyler Invitational tournament is recognized as one of the premier pre-district competitions in scholastic volleyball. Mineola will definitely benefit from the challenges it posed and the incremental successes realized by the team. 

The Lady Jackets will next be in action Friday and Saturday at the Van Invitational. Mineola hosts Quitman in the district opener, Sept. 24.