One of the region’s most competitive volleyball tournaments gets underway this week and will be the first real opportunity for local teams to measure their early season work.
The Fifth Annual MISD Sunrise Rotary Tournament runs Thursday-Saturday with pool games being hosted by four of the local schools.
The 32-team tournament has quickly become one of the largest and strongest early-season events to start the volleyball season.
The season gets underway on Tuesday with opening games following last Friday’s and Saturday’s barrage of scrimmaging.
The scrimmages were filled with more subs than a local sandwich shop as coaches worked to find the right combinations, rotations and chemistry on the court.
For teams like Mansfield, the elements for success have just started taking shape and the coming major tests will tell more about the teams.
“After scrimmaging this weekend, we definitely saw a lot of great things as well as some things we need to work on,” said Mansfield head coach Taylor Elrod.
“In the tournament, we hope to compete and strive to be in the top bracket on Saturday,” Elrod said.
Timberview is hoping to continue the early progress it has seen.
“We are hoping to continue the improvement that I’ve seen so far,” Timberview head coach Beth Wills said. “With every practice and every scrimmage portion, we keep getting better at each position and as a team.”
Each team will play three games on Thursday and Friday in pool play with the guarantee of at least two additional games in the tournament.
Summit, Mansfield, Legacy and Timberview will be the host sites for the Thursday and Friday pool play, with Saturday’s championship bracket to be hosted by Summit, the Gold bracket at Mansfield, Silver bracket at the Mansfield JV gym and the Bronze bracket at Legacy. A Challenge bracket will be at Legacy’s JV gym with other Flight bracket games to be held at Timberview.
Regardless of which bracket teams earn their way into on Saturday, teams will look to finalize their rotations and roster positions.
That item is at the top of Summit’s objectives for the week.
“We’re looking at working to find a consistent lineup,” Summit head coach Linda Alfaro said.
Wills said her Lady Wolves will look to add consistency to their play, especially in serve-receive.
Most teams will rely on three tournaments packed with games to get to where they need to be prior to the start of the district schedules, which start early next month.
Until then, Mansfield and Summit will continue to build on their encouraging starts.
“It was great to see these girls start to come together and playing as a team,” Elrod said after the first scrimmages. “We definitely have a lot of talent. We are now in the process of fine-tuning and zoning in on basic skills.”
The multiple games are welcome work.
“I feel good about our start but also knowing we have a great deal of work ahead,” Alfaro said. “The girls are working hard. So, we’re excited to see how we will start out on the first week.”
The MISD Sunrise Rotary Tournament attracts some of the strongest teams from across the region, including teams such as Lubbock, Arlington Martin, Kennedale, DeSoto, Waxahachie, El Paso’s Americas and Franklin and Midland Lee.
Play begins on Thursday and Friday in each of the eight pools at noon with rounds starting hourly through 5 p.m.
Lake Ridge will play its pool games at Mansfield.