Volleyball Insider: Burleson clicking as team heading into crosstown rivalry match with Centennial

Posted Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information Key matches Friday • North Crowley at FW Paschal, 6:30 p.m. • Burleson at Burleson Centennial, 6:30 p.m. • Keller Timber Creek at Keller Fossil Ridge, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday • Justin Northwest at Southlake Carroll, 6:30 p.m. • Arlington Martin at FW Paschal, 6:30 p.m. • Crowley at Burleson, 6:30 p.m. • Joshua at Everman, 6:30 p.m.

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Burleson and Burleson Centennial will renew a fledgling crosstown volleyball rivalry Friday in a District 8-4A contest.

And despite that last season saw Centennial drop every set to the Elks, this season’s matchup has a little extra flavor because Burleson (25-2, 2-0 in 8-4A) is No. 2 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association 4A state poll.

“I think every coach hopes to have as much success in their first year as we’ve had this year,“ new Burleson coach Aubrey Short said. “But this game does have some extra meaning. I mean the town is divided into one or the other, so the girls talk about this throughout the season.”

The Elks are stacked with performers, running through the gauntlet of non-district games. Burleson’s two losses are to Lubbock Coronado and Granbury, but the Elks have also beaten both teams in rematches.

“I think that’s where they really got close,” Short said of the team. “The players understand each other, they’ve played together for a long time and sometimes when you get on a roll and win like that, a loss will help keep things in perspective for you.”

Middle blocker Holly Milam has been a huge catalyst, already with 367 kills on the season and sets up the outside game for Mackenzie Hailey. Milam and setter Alana Hughes are two of three seniors on the team and the success isn’t by accident.

“They basically have a language all to their own,” Short said. “They’ve played a lot of club volleyball together and for them, they understand the basics so well, that they can make the adjustments during the game. There’s a lot of experience there.”

For Centennial (15-12, 1-1), it will be up to seniors Toni Maxfield and Haley Morris to get the blocking done on defense and try to limit the Burleson damage.

Offensively, Maxfield leads three other players with over 100 kills this season and Raygen Lee has 567 assists on the season.

Saginaw with big win

The Roughriders (19-9, 3-2 in District 6-4A) are keeping pace with frontrunner Saginaw Boswell following in a five-set thriller Tuesday night over Birdville.

Bre West and Olivia Antonmarchi had eight kills each to lead Saginaw and Joy Lyon had seven.

Down 21-15 in game three, Micayla Garza found the hot hand, serving six straight aces and the final 10 points to secure the set.

300 Club

Just four area players have over 300 kills this season, including Burleson’s Holly Milam, Anna Walsh of Colleyville Heritage (312), Lauren Nicks of Arlington (327) and Haley Tippett of Trophy Club Nelson (312)

Several players are on the verge of passing the threshold as well, including Tippett’s teammate Elizabeth Pennington who has 298 kills. Trinity’s Piyusha Boteju and Ashley Mainord of Springtown have 288 and 272, respectively.

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