Area volleyball teams shine in John Turner Classic

PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD - MANVEL — If the way the area volleyball teams played at the John Turner Classic is any indication as to the direction of the way of their season is going, then all of the teams should compete well in district and in the post-season.

There were 76 teams who invaded the Pearland area to compete for the coveted John Turner Classic trophy and Prosper emerged with the championship title defeating Flower Mound, 20-25, 25-15, 25-17. Prosper went through the tournament undefeated at 8-0.

Dawson Lady Eagles

The Dawson Lady Eagles are a pre-season pick to capture their third straight district championship and they certainly proved to be true to being that pre-season favorite as they were 6-1 in the tournament to finish 17th overall.

Dawson beat Richardson (25-20), San Antonio Johnson (25-21, 26-24), St. Agnes (25-9, 25-14), Kingwood Park (25-20, 25-22), Arlington Martin (25-23, 22-25, 25-16), and cross-town cousin and district rival Pearland (25-13, 23-25, 25-16).

The only loss the Lady Eagles suffered was to San Antonio Brandies (21-15, 25-19, 25-21).

"The thing I'm most pleased with is how we're coming together as a team," Dawson head coach Lauren Leth said of her Lady Eagles. "This group is a hodgepodge of players. We have a freshman on our team, several kids from JV that never played varsity, and we only had one returning starter on the court for this tournament.

"But every game that we're playing we're starting to put the pieces together. This was the culmination of that."

Pearland Lady Oilers

Pearland was 5-2 in the tournament and finished in 18th place. One of the key wins for the Lady Oilers was over 6A defending state champion Lewisville Hebron.

The Lady Oiler defeated Fort Bend Elsik (25-18, 25-22, 25-17), Granbury (25-12, 25-18, 25-22), Turner (25-11, 25-22), Highland Park (25-17, 16-25, 25-22), and Hebron (23-25, 25-21, 25-22)

Pearland fell to New Braunfels Canyon (20-25, 27-25, 25-16) and Dawson (25-13, 23-25, 25-16).

"We had match point against New Braunfels Canyon and couldn't close it out to reach the final 16," Pearland head coach Christian Dunn said of the 20-25, 27-25, 25-16 loss. "But we beat Hebron, and that's always great when you can knock off the defending 6A state champions. We can take some pride in that.

"There's definitely a drastic difference of where we were last year in this tournament to where we are now. I think last year we went 1-5 and finished 58th. We're playing much better as a whole, and the team is mentally stronger.

"We were a little tight against Dawson early, but then we took the second set and played pretty good in the third. We have some things to clean up. We need to serve harder and pass the ball better, but overall we looked pretty good."

Friendswood Lady Mustangs

Friendswood finished 35th overall with a 4-4 tournament record.

The Lady Mustangs beat Summer Creek (22-25, 25-21, 25-21), Lake Highlands (25-15, 17-25, 25-19), Ursuline Academy (19-25, 25-23, 25-21), and Granbury (25-17, 25-18).

Friendswood fell to Smithson Valley (22-25, 25-15, 25-19), Schertz Clemens (25-12, 25-14), and Veterans Memorial twice (25-20, 25-14) and (25-13, 25-14).

Like some of the other teams, the Lady Mustangs' roster has many new faces this season, and this tournament serves as a chance to pack in a wealth of experience in a short amount of time.

"When we were playing well, we were playing really well, but I think we let too many errors go and not enough people were stepping up to get to those balls," Friendswood head coach Sarah Paulk said. "They're athletic and they're good, it's just about getting them to be together as a team."

Manvel Lady Mavericks

The Manvel Lady Mavericks finished 43rd overall with a 5-3 mark.

Manvel beat Clear Lake (25-20), Nederland (25-14, 25-15), Glenn (25-14, 25-21), Trinity Christian Academy (25-19, 25-20), and Argyle (26-28, 25-20, 25-16).

The Lady Mavs fell to San Antonio Reagan (25-23, 25-12), Highland Park (25-15, 25-13), and Lake Highlands (25-16, 25-18).