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Scrimmages help Burnet volleyball get ready for season opener

The Burnet High School volleyball team begins another chapter of its history on Tuesday, Aug. 9, when the Lady Dawgs welcome Blanco to The Doghouse, 1000 The Green Mile. The varsity takes the court at 6 p.m. after the subvarsities play at 5 p.m.

Head coach Crystal Shipley has two key traits she wants to see from her athletes during the matches.

“I hope to see confidence and trust build with our team,” she said.

One week earlier the Lady Dawgs began two-a-days and finished the week in a scrimmage in Glen Rose Aug. 6 that featured the host, Blum and Granbury North Central Texas Academy.

Since it was a scrimmage, Shipley used the event to try different lineups and asked athletes to play with teammates they may not know as well.

“They did have great energy, and we tried many different rotations to see who works well together,” she said. “We did some great things, but it really allowed us to see areas we need most improvement.”

Burnet is entering this season after a historical march through the 2021 Class 4A playoffs that ended at the Region III tournament where the Lady Dawgs were semifinalists for only the second time in program history.

But the players haven’t rested on last season’s success. Instead, they committed themselves to playing and improving. A big part of that was participating in the Marble Falls Summer League that played weekly. Since coaches couldn’t tell the players what to do, they had to rely on each other for correction, communication and deciding on lineups and plays. The Lady Dawgs opted to use fake jumps and other parts of their playbook while also learning more about each other’s playing styles, strengths and favorite moves. The results far outweighed the scoreboard. The players bonded and thoroughly enjoyed playing together as illustrated by the laughter and encouraging words spoken to one another.

And since they returned to the gym Aug. 1 to get ready for the season, the players have continued their rapport.

“They were very excited and got to face some tough competition,” Shipley said. “All three teams (at the Glen Rose scrimmage) were good and pushed our girls out of their comfort zone. We played very scrappy. I can’t wait for it all to come together.”

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