THE JUMP: Who to look out for in volleyball playoffs

THE JUMP: Who to look out for in volleyball playoffs
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Fulshear has legit shot at Class 4A title

Originally Appeared on VYPE

The state volleyball playoffs start tonight as area powers prepare for bracket play with hopes of reaching the finals in Garland, Texas.

So, as we are known to do, VYPE is going to boil it down for the fans.

Let's start in Class 6A Region II.

The Woodlands, Klein, Bridgeland and College Park are the Houston headliners coming out of this bracket, however, the 'Kats, Bears and Cavs will have to battle it out in the bottom half of the bracket.

Klein will likely play Bridgeland in Round 2, which could be an epic match-up.

CLICK TO SEE BRACKET

In Class 6A Region III, it's all about Ridge Point and Pearland Dawson, but they would face each other in the Regional Semis. Cinco Ranch could be a spoiler on the top part of the bracket.

The bottom half of the bracket is wide open. Seven Lakes? Cy-Fair? Or Deer Park, maybe?

CLICK TO SEE BRACKET


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Welcome back, Justin! Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night at the Washington Nationals.

Houston manager Joe Espada made the announcement Wednesday.

“Getting him back is huge because it brings a level of confidence to our team, a boost of confidence that we’re going to get someone who’s been an MVP, a Cy Young (winner) on the mound,” Espada said. “It's (good) for the morale and to get stuff started and moving in the right direction.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He made two rehabilitation starts, the first for Triple-A Sugar Land on April 7 before Saturday’s start for Double-A Corpus Christi.

Espada wouldn't say how many pitches the 41-year-old would be limited to but said they'll keep an eye on his workload.

“We've got to be careful how hard we push him early,” Espada said. “I know he’s going to want to go and stay out there and give us an opportunity to win, but we've got to be cautious of how hard we push him early in the season.”

Verlander wasn’t thrilled with the results in his rehabilitation starts, but he said Monday that those games were valuable in getting him prepared to come off the IL.

He allowed seven hits and six runs — five earned — in four innings against Frisco on Saturday. He struck out three, walked one and threw 51 of 77 pitches for strikes.

Verlander allowed six earned runs and struck out six while pitching into the fourth inning for Sugar Land on April 7.

The Astros have gotten off to a tough start with Verlander and fellow starters Framber Valdez and José Urquidy on the injured list. They enter Wednesday's games last in the AL West with a 6-13 record.

Espada hopes Verlander can be the boost the team needs to get on track.

“It’s good to get him back in the rotation,” Espada said. “With what he means to this club just to get him back on track, getting some innings from him (to) build our rotation with the pieces that we need to move forward is exciting.”

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