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Volleyball teams take test run

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – Volleyball is back.

While a new high-school season is still a few weeks away, the Callaway, LaGrange, Troup and Harris County volleyball teams were on the court on Tuesday for a series of scrimmage games.

There were 15 total games involving the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams from those four schools.

With official preseason practice set to begin next week, Tuesday’s games provided a learning tool for each of the teams.

“I think it’s great,” LaGrange head coach Angie Newton said. “It shows us some things before the season starts, gives us an idea of what we need to work on from each individual. So I think it’s a good thing. I think they’re learning a lot.”

The Callaway, LaGrange and Troup varsity teams each played three games.

Troup went 2-1, with its only loss coming to an outstanding Harris County team.

Callaway beat LaGrange and lost to Troup and Harris County, while LaGrange dropped all three of its games.

Harris County’s varsity team went 3-0.

The junior-varsity teams for Callaway, LaGrange and Troup also played three games apiece.

Troup and LaGrange have freshmen teams, and they each played two games.

Even though her varsity team went winless on the day, Newton said it was a productive experience.

“It’s a learning day. It’s a fun day,” Newton said. “One kid on the team played JV last year, so this is the first time she’s been on varsity. I saw her go from not having a club what’s going on in the first match, by this last match she was at the net when she was supposed to be, she was off the net when was supposed to be. So we’re learning.”

Newton had to re-configure her lineup since some players weren’t able to be there.

“We had a few players out,” Newton said. “We were on our third-string setter, and she’s not a setter. She’s a middle. But, she kind of got nominated to be the setter today. They all have to know how to do everything.”

Troup’s volleyball team is coming off the best season in school history that included a first-ever victory in the state tournament.

There were nine seniors on that team, so the Lady Tigers will have a vastly different look this fall.

“We have a young team. But they’re playing well together,” Troup head coach Leigh Bailey said. “Right now, we’re working on trying to get our errors out. Once we clear that up, we’re good.”

The Lady Tigers had a busy summer that included workouts at the school as well as a handful of camps, and Bailey said the key for the players will be implementing everything they’ve worked on the past few months.

“We want to make sure we’re doing everything we’ve been taught all summer,” she said. “Even if we’re playing someone that’s not doing as well as us, there are things we can work on to get better. There are mistakes, things that we can correct. We’re trying to clean it up little by little. So far, I’m really excited.”

Callaway head coach Christina Harris was happy to get her players some time on the court before things begin for real in a few weeks.

“I was proud of them,” Harris said. “We beat LaGrange, so that was exciting for us.”

Harris added that “this is just great experience for them. I like the scrimmages. I like being able to move people in and out. I just throw them in there and say, do your best. So I think they did really well. It was a good experience seeing three different teams on the same day. That way they can relax. I think the scrimmages are really good. I hope we can do more of these in the summer before school starts.”

Official preseason practice for Callaway, LaGrange and Troup begins on Aug. 1, and they will each play their first games in two weeks.