80ºF

Volleyball's Back: VYPE Austin Teams To Watch

photo
(Copyright (c) 2020 VYPE - All rights reserved)

The 2020 Texas high school volleyball season will be in full swing starting next week, so it's time for preseason VYPE Austin, Central Texas and Hill Country coverage. Check out area teams to watch and come back later this week for more preseason content.

Big thanks to Pflugerville ISD for allowing VYPE to host its 2020 Austin Preseason Photoshoot at The Pfield, Whataburger for sponsoring our event, all the participating schools, teams and players, and the area coaches that submitted team questionnaires.

UIL 6A

Lake Travis: The Cavaliers won 38 matches and advanced to the UIL 6A Region IV Quarterfinal during the 2019 Texas high school volleyball season and will be an area favorite in the same classification during the 2020 campaign. Expect outside hitter and SMU commit Jamison Wheeler to lead a charge that also includes middle hitter Campbell Cook and setter Kiana Reed.


Westlake: The Chaparrals won 34 games during the 2019 season and are motivated to top last year's bi-district finish. Expect a deep playoff run from them in 2020 because of UCLA beach commit Katie Hashman, Tulane commit Genevieve Perry and University of Denver commit Margaret Newton. All three players are in the same senior class as middle blocker Simone Jackson, and junior setter Grey Foster provides additional upperclassmen depth.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Round Rock Westwood: The Warriors won 38 games and clinched a berth in the UIL 6A Region II quarterfinal during the 2019 season. Expect a notable duo in setter Kenzie Beckham and outside hitter Abby Gregorczyk to play important roles in their team's march towards similar success in their new UIL 6A Region IV home in 2020.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Copperas Cove: The Lady Dawgs won 33 games and advanced to the UIL 6A Region II area round during the 2019 season and are still a team to watch on the north side of our coverage area. Longtime head coach Cari Lowery is looking to extend her program's double-digit playoff streak with libero Emma Wasiak, middle blocker Kyra Gaston and outside hitter Larissa Melendez.

Hays: The Rebels won 26 games and extended their playoff streak to five seasons in 2019, and has the corps to push past their UIL 6A Region IV bi-district finish from a year ago in 2020. Their notable group of players includes Missouri commit Trista Strasser, TCU beach commit Brooke Sheely, Joselyn Roberson and Emily Linder.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Belton: The Tigers won 20 games and advanced to the UIL 6A Region II bi-district round during the 2019 season, so they'll be a squad to keep an eye on in 2020. They are expected to face challenges early in their schedule and lean on a deep roster that includes senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Isabel Holguin, junior setter McKenzie Mansell, junior opposite hitter/setter Kylie Blomquist, senior opposite hitter Sydney Sell, junior middle blocker/outside hitter MyKaela Johnston, senior middle blocker/outside hitter Morgan Weber, and junior outside hitter Campbell Burnett.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Round Rock Cedar Ridge: The Raiders won 28 games during the 2019 season and are still a team you don't want to mess with in 2020. Their experienced roster remembers the disappointment of missing the postseason a year ago, so keep an eye on seniors Alexis Ford, Ava Pinter and Jessica Stock and juniors Elena Bilhartz and Faith Cox in their push for a playoff appearance in head coach Eric Soto's first season leading the program.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Austin High: The Maroons won 20 games and missed a playoff berth by a game in the district standings during the 2019 season and have the pieces in place to remain in the chase in 2020. Their roster includes eight varsity returners, four returning starters and a notable trio in senior middle blocker DeAndra Pierce, junior middle blocker Sadie Swift and junior outside hitter Samantha Unbehagen.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

San Marcos: The Rattlers missed the postseason in 2019, but they're launching an exciting new era in 2020. They hired John Walsh as their new athletic director and Jared Te'o as the volleyball program's latest head coach. That means former Denton Guyer volleyball player and UIL 5-6A first-team all-district honoree Maggie Walsh will join a squad that also includes libero Julia Antu and middle hitter Emery Jones.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Round Rock Stony Point: The Tigers enjoyed a strong start to the 2019 season, but need to lean on their returning upperclassmen players and 15 wins from a year ago to finish the 2020 campaign stronger. That includes senior setter and right side hitter Xaria Pickett, senior middle blocker Alex Serna, senior outside hitter Vanae Sapp and junior outside hitter Lucy Vazquez.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

UIL 5A

Dripping Springs: The Tigers lost key college recruits to graduation after a 43-win season and a UIL 5A Region IV final appearance in 2019, but Coach Michael Kane always has a plan to reload. This year's squad needs to lean on middle blocker Madison Lund, libero Nicole Herbert and outside hitter Mackenzie Plante to continue the program's long run at volleyball success.

Photo by VYPE Media's Bradley Collier.

Georgetown: The Eagles won 31 matches en route to their run to the UIL 5A Region III quarterfinal in 2019 and will continue to make the proud Georgetown, Texas volleyball community during the 2020 campaign. Their leaders on the court will be 5'10" setter Annika Flora and 6'2" right side hitter Lily Barker.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Cedar Park: The Timberwolves heated up late to earn 25 wins and a UIL 5A Region III semifinal berth during the 2019 season and will be an area force once again in 2020. They're led by 19-year Texas high school volleyball coach Lori McLaughlin, as well as Sam Houston State commit Abbi Lemmond, Graceland University commit Haven Pannell and fellow notable players Avery Cole and Kaitlin Davis.

Photo from Cedar Park coach Lori McLaughlin.

Georgetown East View: The Patriots won 27 games and advanced to the UIL 5A Region III area round during the 2019 season and expect to make another multi-round playoff appearance in 2020. Expect big performances from libero Kayla White and setter Mary Brown on the court this fall.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Pflugerville Connally: The Cougars won 25 games and advanced to the UIL 5A Region III bi-district round in 2019, so they'll be a squad to keep an eye on this season. They're led by college volleyball commit and senior outside hitter/middle blocker Michera Moffett, who is joined by senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Janisha Vallejo-Gloude, senior setter Helen Barnwell and junior Jazlyn Figueroa on the court.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Lockhart: The Lions won 17 games and advanced to the UIL 5A Region IV bi-district round during the 2019 season, so they're looking to extend their playoff streak in 2020. They can reach that goal by leaning on the leadership of first-year coach Terry Lambert, outside hitters Anissa Mitchell and Morgan Masur, setter Mikaela Leyva, and middle blocker Makynzee Reynolds.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Bastrop: The Bears won 15 games and advanced to the UIL 5A Region III bi-district round during the 2019 campaign and will be in the mix for another postseason appearance in 2020. They expect big performances from Crystal Creek, Layne Ellsworth and Kaitlyn Parsons.

Photo by VYPE Media's Bradley Collier.

Pflugerville Weiss: The Wolves won double digit contests in 2019 and can inch towards a postseason berth in 2020. For that to happen, they need big campaigns from libero Jazmine Mason, setter Aden Britt and right side hitter Jaylen Anderson.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Buda Johnson: The Jaguars have a year of sub-varsity competition experience from the 2019-2020 school year and are excited to begin their first varsity campaign this fall. Coach Shelly Jones already has big plans and expectations for Mackenzie Behl, Lana Tello, Mallari Myers and Jenna Hannon.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Cedar Creek: The Eagles missed the postseason in 2019, but remained competitive in 18-5A. Expect outside hitter Bridgett Helford, setter/right side hitter Justice Gabaldon and setter Janell Welcome to keep them in the playoff race in 2020.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Austin Northeast Early College: Second-year coach James Ninh has a plan to bring the Lady Raiders more success in 2020. He wants his players to "stay disciplined and consistent throughout the season" and expects Nashae Davis, Saniyah Oviedo and Aubrey Jackson to hold important roles.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

UIL Small School

Wimberley: The Texans won 37 games en route to a UIL 4A Region IV quarterfinal appearance in 2019 and are expected to produce another deep playoff push in 2020. That's because they have a talented bunch in middle blocker Brina Jones, outside hitter Paige Crawford and libero Rhyan Masur.

Schulenburg: The Lady Horns have contributed to one of the best small school volleyball programs in Texas over the past decade. They won the 2014 UIL 2A state championship and finished as the state runner-up in 2012 and 2013. They also stormed to a 34-12 record and a UIL 3A Region IV Semifinal appearance during the 2019 season, and will remain in the hunt for a deep playoff run in 2020. Libero Julie Guentert, opposite hitter Erica Otto, outside hitter/middle blocker Jordan Sommer and defensive specialist Regan Lux are important returners that will push young teammates to the point that they keep the program's tradition alive this fall.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Thorndale: The Lady Dogs won 28 games in their run to the UIL 2A Region IV Quarterfinal. Even though they only have a pair of starters back, they have enough talent back in setter/outside hitter Kyndal Robinson, defensive specialists Landri Martinka and Ashley Pesl, and outside hitter Raeghan Carlson to make another multi-round playoff appearance in 2020.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

La Grange: The Leopards won 24 games en route to a UIL 4A area round playoff appearance during the 2019 Texas high school volleyball season. They only have four returning starters, but the leadership of their senior class, which is made up of outside hitter Lanie Doyle, libero Megan Brothers, outside hitter Natalie Blackwell and middle blocker Ryann Marshall, will team up with sophomore setter Maddi Fritz to extend the program's double-digit playoff streak in 2020.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Fayetteville: The Lions charged to 26 wins and the UIL 1A Region IV Final during the 2019 season and have four returning starters back to extend their playoff streak to six seasons. Senior setter Landry Wied, sophomore outside hitter Brooklyn Jaeger and freshman outside hitter Kayme Schley are important players to watch.

Burnet: The Lady Dawgs may have finished the 2019 season with 17 wins and a UIL 4A bi-district finish, but they're hungry for more success during the upcoming 2020 campaign. The pack has eight returning starters and notable players in outside hitter/defensive specialist Kayla Gillaspie, setter/right side hitter Rylee Hernandez, libero Kyli Davis and setter/right side hitter Karissa Killebrew.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Lake Belton: Time to meet the newest kid on the block. Lake Belton High School opened its doors for the first time at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, so the Broncos plan to lean on outside hitters Sydni Cartwright and Danica Bingham and libero Paige Roehl to put it on the map in their first varsity volleyball season.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Taylor: The Ducks only have two returning starters in 2020, but expect them to stay on track for another playoff appearance. They won 24 games and advanced to the UIL 4A bi-district round in 2019, and still have key returners in senior middle blocker Maggie Ryines and junior outside hitter Kiera Van Brocklin in coach Kate Kennedy's second season.

Georgetown Gateway College Preparatory School: The Gators won 12 games in 2019 and are riding a five-year playoff streak entering the 2020 season. Expect more success from them this fall with senior Trejhel Henry, Erin Banks and Emily Thompson and sophomore Nolasco being on the roster.

TAPPS

Texas School for the Deaf: The Rangers have enjoyed extended success under 17-year head coach RJ Kaufman and can top their TAPPS 4A regional final finish and 26 wins from a year ago in 2020. Their top returners are Alyssa Glennon, Jayne Taylor, Zara Thompson, Isadora Egbert and Yamila Davis.

Photo by VYPE Media's Bradley Collier.

Austin St. Michael's Catholic Academy: The Lady Crusaders impressed with their run to the TAPPS 5A regional final during the 2020 season and are expected to make another multi-round playoff appearance in 2020. That's because they have a notable trio in middle blocker Nora Carlson, outside/right side hitter Ella Hudson and outside hitter Brinkley Barker.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Brentwood Christian School: The Lady Bears finished the 2019 season with a winning record, but missing that year's postseason motivates them to reach the dance in 2020. Expect libero Aurora Tyson and outside hitter Caroline Griffith to keep them in the mix this fall.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Austin San Juan Diego Catholic: The Lady Saints found early success in 2019 and have high expectations for Claire Snoody, Sarina Soto, Mikyala Holderfield and Aubrey Jackson in 2020.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

Round Rock Concordia: Head coach Nichole Allison understands the importance of strategy and chemistry in the Cardinals' bounce back plan in 2020. She also has big plans for Jordan Stolle, Ariyanna Creww, Abby Jahnke and Calissa Allison on the court this fall.

Photo by Henry Huey for VYPE Media.

For more sports coverage, follow Thomas (@Texan8thGen Facebook/Instagram/Twitter) and VYPE (VYPE Texas Facebook, @VYPE_ATX Instagram and @VYPEATX Twitter) on social media. To nominate an athlete for future poll consideration, please send player stats to @Texan8thGen in a Facebook message or tag VYPEATX with that information on Twitter by Monday at 8 a.m.

Looking to get more involved? Check out ShopVYPE for fresh gear that supports local schools and the VYPE U Ambassador Program. To sign up for the VYPE U Program, apply at VYPEU.com.