A Growing Sport: Boys Volleyball Popularity Rising in Texas

Photo By Jamey Wright

Originally Appeared on VYPE

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS FANS ARE AWARE – the Lone Star State's girls' volleyball is among the best – if not THE best – in the world.

Recently, there's been a movement for Texas high school boys' volleyball.

While the exact number isn't confirmed, there are less than 100 boys' Texas high school volleyball teams in existence today.

The Southwest Preparatory Conference has nine teams that include Episcopal, Kinkaid and St. John's in the Houston-area and St. Andrew's and St. Stephens in the Austin area. There are 20-30 more teams (mostly private schools) in the Dallas Metroplex area, but none are sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League (UIL). Compare that to over 1,200 UIL-sanctioned girls' teams.

The approach to high school boys' volleyball in Texas is the "club" space – a group of teams that play at the high school level, but in the private sector. Think lacrosse, which is sanctioned by the Texas High School Lacrosse League. Or hockey, which has a few club organizations.

Boys' volleyball has a lot of growing to do on a national scale. On the collegiate front, the NCAA has only 45 schools that compete.

"The boys' game has a ways to go," stated Butch Hart, the "Godfather" of Texas volleyball media. "There's some really good talent out there. In my opinion, Nathan Lietzke (St. Andrews High School; Austin Juniors Club Volleyball) is the best player in the state – he's going to Stanford on scholarship.

"The key to growing the boys' game will be finding a time period when they can play. Texas high school sports is packed – football in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball, track, soccer and lacrosse in the spring. There must be a time when you can get boys to play volleyball."


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By Bradley Collier

Originally Appeared on VYPE

On paper, Aldine Davis should be the best returning Aldine ISD volleyball squad for the 2019 campaign.

But that's just on paper.

Starla Jones, the reigning District 16-6A Coach of the Year, has been persistent this offseason in reminding her team that the successes of last year are just that. They are last season's, which doesn't entitle her group to that same success in 2019.

"I think it's going to give them some confidence that they have a year under their belt," Jones said. "But it's a new season, a new team. Last year is last year. I'm reminding them that we've got to start all over. It's going to take some work like it did before.

"We can't settle, and we can't expect to be at the top just because we were last year."

Last season, Aldine Davis went 20- 26-1 overall and 10-4 in District 16-6A play to finish in a tie for second place with MacArthur.

"I've told them, you do realize because you were up there you are definitely one of the teams to beat," Jones said. "Everybody's going to be pumped. I don't care what team it is. They're going to be ready to play you."

Returning to the court for the Falcons this season is District 16-6A Newcomer of the Year Kiyah Felder, first-team selections Ashlyn Laymond and Tavia Harrell and second-teamer Hailey Harris. Also returning is Lyric Carwell, who was an honorable mention.

What excites Jones the most about this group is that this summer the girls put in the needed work to get better in the weight room.


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