By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
August 12, 2020
Stephenville’s offense is on track!
After a 3-0 sweep of Bridgeport Tuesday, Stephenville pounded the Sissies 25-19, 25-10, 25-18 in a match that wasn’t indicative of how powerful the No. 15 Honeybees appear.
“We struggled a little with our service receiving in our two scrimmages, and I was a little worried about how we would play,” Coach Shay Douglas said. “We have the offense, and we are working on how to get the ball to our offensive players.”
Stephenville started a little hesitant in the first set, and Douglas attributed that to how focused the Bees were on receiving the ball.
“I do think we were a little nervous about getting the ball to the offense early, but we played well and showed great improvement in that area.”
Senior libero Cali Carter and the Bees’ backline set up a slew of attacks for heavy hitters Landri Withers, Alie McClendon, Kennedy Coffee, Emma Giddings and Jaydi Griffin.
“We’ve got a versatile group this year, and the girls have the athletic ability to assume different roles. That gives us the ability to make transitions and run a variety of offensive schemes,” Douglas said.
The setting of Jaylee Matthews kept those transitions running as the Honeybees used a combination of power, finesse, and sleight-of-hand trickery to set the Sissies’ defense on its heels.
“There were a couple of times that I would say we were suffering from ‘growing pains,’ but that is going to happen with people learning new roles,” Douglas said.
Stephenville gave up a couple of attacks when they didn’t make the correct transition on defense and left a gap on the floor. The Bees had a few defensive collisions, but it is obvious Stephenville has made strides in practice.
Douglas is starting her third year at her Alma mater, where she helped lead the Bees to a state title, and she’s chasing a legacy she helped build.
Last year Stephenville fell one match short of the regional tournament and finished the year the school’s second-best overall record at 35-10. The Bees also posted a perfect 8-0 slate in District 7-4A.
For Douglas, it’s now about guiding her Bees up the next rung of the playoff ladder. She’s not worried about besting the school’s best 42-6 record, but winning a state title is another story.
Douglas recognizes the importance of challenging her team.
“I want the girls to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations,” Douglas said. “When you can go out there and execute in those kinds of situations, you will be successful.”
Stephenville’s offense appeared to be well ahead of the last two seasons’ progress, which pleases Douglas.
“The girls know that it is GO TIME,” Douglas said. “They trust the process. I work their tails off in practice, and they keep responding.”