The grind begins: A competitive District 3-5A begins Tuesday night
The Randall Lady Raiders are off to a 21-3 start to the season. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
It’s late August, school is barely underway, however, there are some high school volleyball teams across the state getting district going thanks to the University Interscholastic League putting power districts together.
One of those highly competitive districts is 3-5A, made up of the best around the Texas Panhandle and the South Plains.
All but two teams in the district are over .500 with Randall and Lubbock Monterey both ranked in the Top 10 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Poll.
Randall rolled through District 3-5A with an unblemished 16-0 record last season on the way to a Class 5A state tourney run.
Here’s how Press Pass Sports reporter Kale Steed sees the the district shaking out.
Amarillo High’s Ashland Vinyard goes for a spike against Tascosa during a nondistrict matchup earlier this season. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
Kale’s District 3-5A predictions
1. Randall (21-3, 0-0): The No. 3 Randall Lady Raiders have opened the year on fire under new head coach Haleigh Burns. Randall is off to a 21-3 start, and the early season favorite to defend their crown.
2. Amarillo High (13-10, 0-0): The Lady Sandies have seen their ups and downs under new head coach Mike Moffitt. If the senior laden talent all comes together, the Lady Sandies will be very dangerous.
3. Lubbock Cooper (17-10, 0-0): Here’s where things get muddled. Lubbock Cooper, Monterey and Coronado can all beat each other on any given night. The Lady Pirates have been savvy over the last couple years. Especially junior Libero Kate Siegel.
4. Lubbock Monterey (20-6): Former Caprock coach Kelly Lozado has the Lady Plainsman on the right path. This year, No. 8 Monterey showed how good they can be. Earlier in the year they beat No. 5 Princeton to win the Haltom City Tournament.
5. Lubbock Coronado (15-8, 0-0): The Lady Mustangs are another team that could finish as high as third. During the Frenship Tournament, Coronado knocked off Lubbock Monterey.
6. Caprock (15-10, 0-0): The Lady Longhorns took a step closer to ending their playoff drought with a fifth place finish last year. New head coach Branda Morales has done a great job early, and Libero Geste Carrasco provides leadership.
7. Plainview (10-10, 0-0): If the Lady Bulldogs want to find themselves in the playoff mix, they need to beat Caprock in Tuesday’s district opener. Senior middle blocker Lexie Bennett is one to keep an eye on.
8. Lubbock High (11-15, 0-0): Can the Lady Westerners compete through the grind of district season? That’s the question. Though the playoffs may not be in the future, a spoiler role definitely is.
9. Palo Duro (6-13, 0-0): First-year coach Anslee Jeffries has done good job replacing former coach Laura Fortner. The youthful Lady Dons have the capability of sneaking up on someone during the district grind.
District 3-5A standings
Team District Overall
Randall 0-0 21-3
Monterey 0-0 20-6
Cooper 0-0 17-10
Coronado 0-0 15-8
Caprock 0-0 15-9
Amarillo High 0-0 13-10
Coronado 0-0 15-8
Plainview 0-0 10-10
Lubbock High 0-0 11-15
Palo Duro 0-0 6-13
Caprock at Plainview, 6:30 p.m.
Lubbock High at Monterey, 6:30 p.m.
Cooper at Amarillo High, 7 p.m.
Coronado at Palo Duro, 7 p.m.